As the pool of available big men in free agency continues to shrink, the Heat was left Thursday to mull the possibilities of something truly gargantuan.
“It’s not a news bulletin that Shaq’s on the market,” Heat President Pat Riley said. “And we, like everybody else, are listening.”
Apparently, the Heat is listening intently, joined by the Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks as teams making the biggest pushes for Shaquille O’Neal.
With the Lakers’ center demanding a trade, the Heat apparently has pushed virtually all its chips to the center of the table — with the exception of guard Dwyane Wade, seemingly its lone untouchable.
Although he attempted to downplay such trade talks, Riley, making his first appearance at the Pepsi Pro Summer League, did not discount the possibility.
In fact, amid an already wild offseason that has seen guards Tracy McGrady and Steve Francis trade places in Orlando and Houston, respectively, and Vince Carter push for a trade from Toronto, Riley said no prospect should be disregarded.
“I mean, Tracy McGrady got traded. He was on the market,” Riley said. “I’ve heard three or four other great-name players that are on the market, Shaq being one of ’em.
“You’ve got to pursue ’em. You’re foolish if you don’t try to pursue ’em and at least listen.”
The question now is the intensity of that dialogue. For example, Dallas still is said to be reluctant to include forward Dirk Nowitzki in its bid, with Indiana having similar reservations with center Jermaine O’Neal.
I personally would not like this deal to happen. Although I dont like Eddie Jones and I have no problem shipping Grant out of town, I dont think the Heat (Or Miami) needs a media whore like Shaq around. Yes, Miami needs a big man in the middle, all he would have to do is grab rebounds and block shots – and REALLY hustle. Shaq has been taking nights off for the past 2 seasons. In addition to the Heat needing a center they also need a backup point guard. Why they picked that high school kid INSTEAD of Jameer Nelson I’ll never know. Now Austin signed with Toronto… Pat Riley WTF man?!?!