It's been four days since word leaked that the Heat and Raptors were discussing a Shawn Marion for Jermaine O'Neal swap, which in Internet time is the equivalent of four weeks. So much for the trade being imminent, huh? What separates this trade from most rumors, though, is that the word came from O'Neal himself, who apparently told friends he anticipated the trade to happen soon.
Miami is apparently worried about O'Neal's health, though, which is a perfectly valid concern for a guy who's averaged more than 30 missed games the last four years, not to mention 11 of the last 12 this month. Miami is so worried, in fact, that they're reportedly re-considering all of their options, including a potential deal with Dallas for Josh Howard.
The Heat is studying at least three other options, with Dallas confirmed to be among them. The Heat and Mavericks spoke about a four-team deal that would have brought Howard here, but that was sidetracked when Dallas sent DeSagana Diop to Charlotte. But the Heat remains intrigued by Howard, who's due $10.8 million in 2009-10 and has a team option for $11.8 million in 2010-11. Dallas would need to add at least one other player for cap reasons.
The Heat need a center first and foremost, so a deal for Howard would be close to a lateral move. It's too bad they bite when they had a chance to get Diop -- most of the other guys the Mavs would likely make available for the salaries to match are also perimeter players. Jerry Stackhouse wants out of Dallas, and Marion for Howard and Stack would work ... but why would either team pull the trigger?
What are the other two options Miami is considering? Jackson confirms that Charlotte approached the Heat, although Miami has no interest in Gerald Wallace's contract. The Brad Miller deal Tom Ziller advocated last week is likely still on the table, but Miami and Sacramento apparently haven't spoken in a month.