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Shaq's interest in Heat gets a shrug from Pfund


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Shaq's interest in Heat gets a shrug from Pfund

 

By Ira Winderman

Staff Writer

Posted July 7 2004

 

ORLANDO -- Having made it onto Shaquille O'Neal's wish list, the Heat is not getting too carried away with playing fantasy basketball.

 

As dissension between the Lakers and O'Neal seemingly continues to grow, the massive center has made it known that a trade to the Heat would meet with his approval.

 

In position to opt out of his contract after the coming season and therefore leverage a potential trade to a team of his choice, O'Neal has added the Heat to a list that previously included Dallas, Sacramento, Orlando and New Orleans.

 

"I wouldn't make too much of it," Heat General Manager Randy Pfund said as his team opened summer-league play at the Magic's training facility. "Whenever there's a big name that's on the market or a free agent, you always look at the possibilities. But how something could happen like that..."

 

With O'Neal to earn $29.5 million next season, a Heat proposal likely would have to start with power forward Lamar Odom, small forward Caron Butler and shooting guard Eddie Jones or center Brian Grant.

 

"I'm a little hesitant to talk about it specifically," Pfund said. "Let's put it this way, in general, players of that dollar, to get the right combination, I think is pretty hard."

 

PATIENT APPROACH

 

Pfund said the free-agent market still is at a stage where a team limited to salary-cap exceptions, such as the Heat, has to wait until the big spenders finish spending.

 

"Based on a couple of deals I've seen so far, we're not into the mid-level group yet," he said, with the Heat's biggest chip being its $5.1 million mid-level exception. "Everyone's asking for a lot of money. We keep going back and asking, `You sure you wouldn't be interested at a little less?'"

 

With Golden State retaining center Adonal Foyle and Utah adding Pistons center Mehmet Okur, both in the $10 million range, and with Celtics center Mark Blount looking at the full mid-level exception, the Heat could find itself priced out of the big-man market in free agency.

 

"A lot of teams are trying to fill in a starting position," said Pfund, already set in his opening lineup with Grant and Odom. "Some of those teams are extremely aggressive, and a lot of them have more money to spent than we do.

 

"I would say there are not enough big men to go around. There's a lot of teams that need big guys and not everyone is going to get one. Whether we could be left out of that, I don't know."

 

STILL TALKING

 

Pfund said talks regarding free-agent reserve point guard Rafer Alston are ongoing. ... Word Tuesday was there was nothing to rumors that has the Heat talking to the Magic about trading Butler for power forward Drew Gooden. ...

 

Pfund said the Heat would not rule out a run at a restricted free agent, with the team having expressed interest in Jazz point guard Carlos Arroyo. Email story

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Copyright ? 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Another Shaq Article. This one by the Miami Herald..

 

Posted on Thu, Jul. 08, 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

R E L A T E D L I N K S

? Web Vote | Which two Heat players should not be included in a trade for Shaq?

 

 

 

 

Heat should join Shaq sweepstakes

 

GREG COTE

 

[email protected]

 

 

Shaquille O'Neal is a big baby, a diva in size 21EEE sneakers.

 

He couldn't make a free throw if his next meal depended on it.

 

He is coming off a career-worst season scoring average.

 

He is high-maintenance and high-mileage, likely past his prime.

 

He would cost a fortune, and detonate your roster to get.

 

Conclusion: Go get him, Miami.

 

Explore the possibility seriously, at least. Be creative. Risk a lot. Be willing to scrap the blueprint, because Shaq is the blueprint. You start anew with him as your literal and figurative center -- the sun from which the Heat emanates -- and you are a more feared team overnight, a contender.

 

Two dominant stars combined with a handful of solid parts are enough to make an NBA team a force, such as what Houston hopes it has done by adding Tracy McGrady to Yao Ming. Imagine Miami starting over with Shaq and Dwyane Wade and building out from that nucleus? The imagination needn't work too hard.

 

O'Neal -- even at 32, even with the goofy, mercurial rep -- remains perhaps the biggest force in the game, arguably the greatest center ever, an all-NBA first-teamer six times, including the past five years.

 

His 7-1, 320-pound frame would especially cut an awesome path through the center-shy Eastern Conference, where everybody's hunt for ''bigs'' (including Miami's) seems accentuated, more desperate.

 

WORTH THE SHUFFLE

 

Don't get me wrong. You don't break up the Heat's promising young core except under extraordinary circumstances, but Shaq is one. Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett might be the only other players who, if available, you would do just about anything short of kidnapping to acquire.

 

In this case, as most know, Shaq is sick of the Los Angeles melodrama and tired of fighting fellow diva Kobe Bryant for the team tiara and has demanded a trade. He even put his Beverly Hills mansion on the market for a cool $7.5 million. (The shack can be yours for roughly $35,000 a month. The Shaq costs somewhat more.)

 

The fact O'Neal might opt out of his contract after this coming season gives him leverage here. The Lakers, hell-bent to keep the free agent Bryant, seem inclined to get something for Shaq now rather than have him pout in L.A. another year, then get nothing when he leaves.

 

Miami wasn't even in the gallery, let alone the picture, until Mr. O'Neal deigned recently to include the Heat among teams he would play for, along with Dallas, Sacramento, Orlando and New Orleans.

 

Maybe Shaq pictures South Beach as an ideal setting for the filming of the sequel to Kazaam, in which he played a rapping genie and yet was grievously overlooked by Oscar. Or maybe he has seen Wade's game. Or heard the early buzz on top pick Dorell Wright. Or maybe he's just adding teams willy nilly to grow the market.

 

We can't know O'Neal's real interest, or Miami's, at this point. Heat general manager Randy Pfund can't say much because Shaq is under contract. But I found it notable that Pfund's only comment this week wasn't to flatly deny interest, but rather to note any such mega-deal would be ``very complicated.''

 

WADE SHOULD STAY

 

Shaq will earn around $28 million next season. To make a deal work under the NBA's Byzantine salary cap and also offer enough to perhaps entice L.A., Miami would have to at least offer Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and either Eddie Jones or Brian Grant.

 

Wade should be the only untouchable.

 

Miami might not have enough to give, but why not at least try to pull the biggest trigger out there? Why not try to be a contender right now rather than tinker and craft and hope you might be in three years? The modern NBA is too volatile to count on that.

 

Miami, even with last season's promising finish, isn't close enough to championship contention to erase the gap with its $5.1 million and $1.6 million cap exceptions in free agency. You don't get difference-makers (such as center Erick Dampier) with that. You get Vlade Divac.

 

Toronto overpaying almost $5 million a season Wednesday to sign Miami sparkplug Rafer Alston, who wasn't going to start here, shows you how little you get for that kind of dough.

 

What you can get for that are solid parts to augment your Shaq/Wade core. And, even if the Heat had O'Neal only for one season, Miami would have a windfall of salary-cap space to go star-caliber free agent hunting when he left.

 

The chances of The Diesel actually somehow ending up in Miami are remote, of course, but the possibility, however slight, entices. It's tasty to chew on.

 

Heck, it's almost enough to make me want to run out and rent Kazaam or slip in one of Shaq's rap CDs.

 

I said almost.

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ill pass. no way i break up the team to aquire him for a year. eddie caron and grant yes. but u i would not trade odom or wade. odom is younger and will be more valuable since hes only 24 and hitting his prime as shaq is hitting his decline. if u can make a deal without including odom and wade go ahead. otherwise id rather wait after next year when eddie and grant are off our books.

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I don't even see Shaq going anywhere. Like they said on ATH, who's gonna take his salary and trade away their core? The only team that really made an effort was Dallas but they're not letting Nowitzki go and the Lakers said no without him so that's not working out either. Getting rid of Shaq is a lot harder than it looks.

 

But yeah, no way I would let Odom go, no way.

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according to the guys on PTI, the heat are now the leading contender to get shaq

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yea im watching, i dont want shaq for what they are asking. no odom or wade. id give up grant,butler and eddie . no way in hell riley will part with wade and especially odom who he went out and got himself and who has turned into a star here.

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according to the guys on PTI, the heat are now the leading contender to get shaq

447386[/snapback]

yea im watching, i dont want shaq for what they are asking. no odom or wade. id give up grant,butler and eddie . no way in hell riley will part with wade and especially odom who he went out and got himself and who has turned into a star here.

447400[/snapback]

 

Giving up two overpaid players and one good player? common, the Lakers won't go for that.

 

Bottom line, this team won't win the big one without a dominant big man. Who is out there other than Shaq? Vlady? no thanks

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according to sportscenter, the deal would be for brian grant, lamar odom, and probably a 1st round draft pick.

447486[/snapback]

 

 

I would want Shaq and fisher or something.. Odom is going to be awesome.. Get rid of Grant and Butler and Odom for Shaq and Fisher but then again what I would want to see is EJ,grant,and butler and a 1st round pick for Shaq and keep wade, odom, and Shaq as the nucleus

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according to sportscenter, the deal would be for brian grant, lamar odom, and probably a 1st round draft pick.

447486[/snapback]

 

Thats a even deal, it would be great if they could change Odom to Jones but that would never happen.

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