When dismissing a rumor that his Mavericks were interested in Jason Kidd, Mark Cuban said last week that "the deals that do get done are always the ones you have heard nothing about." Yeah, that sounds about right.
The Heat were one and done not only as champs but also contenders: they're literally went from first to worst in less than two seasons. Shaq's fall from grace has been embarrassingly steep, and I never thought that any team out there would be silly enough to relieve Miami of their financial burden ($20 million this year, $40 million the next two), let alone have it be a contender like Phoenix, who now faces the prospects of completely overhauling their run-and-gun offense on the fly while not letting Kobe and Pau eat into their two and a half game cushion in the Pacific.
Shaq is either already in Phoenix or en route to take a physical, at which point we'll find out for sure if the Suns give this trade a thumbs up or down. But Pat Riley, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Heat are in Detroit, where they're scheduled to take on the Pistons (and a bevy of reporters) tonight. Needless to say, it should be interesting.
Putting a Detroit-centric view of this trade, if by chance Shawn Marion does rejuvenate the Heat into making a push for the seventh or eighth seed (which, at 10 games back, is extremely, extremely unlikely), there's a good chance they'd run into the Pistons in the first round.
More realistically, though, Miami's resurgence will come next summer, at which point they'll have the salary cap space to go after a big name free agent to go along with Wade and a top lottery pick. Simply put, by removing themselves of Shaq's salary, they've slipped their rebuilding plan into fifth gear.