Shaquille O’Neal

Trade Retrospective: Shaq To The Heat

With the impending blockbuster deal that will send Kevin Love to the Cavaliers less than a day away, I’ve been taking a look back at past trades involving superstar players. It’s always interesting to see how these deals have worked out over the years for all of the franchises that were involved.

So far I’ve examined the trades that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers; Deron Williams to the Nets; Kevin Garnett to the Celtics; and Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. Next up on the agenda is a look back at the July 14, 2004 trade that saw Shaquille O’Neal head from the Lakers to the Heat.

Let’s first recap the players and assets involved:

  1. The Heat received O’Neal.
  2. The Lakers received Caron Butler; Lamar Odom; Brian Grant; and a 2006 first-rounder (Jordan Farmar).

Shaq’s last few seasons in purple-and-gold were tumultuous to say the least. His relationship with the franchise became contentious over his perception that the front office was catering to the whims of Kobe Bryant; his displeasure at being called out publicly over his lack of conditioning by the front office and coaching staff; and his contract squabbles, which Bryant slammed O’Neal over, implying that Shaq was putting himself before the good of the team.

2004 was an offseason of big changes for the Lakers franchise as a whole. Phil Jackson had stepped down as coach of the team, Bryant was a free agent, and was courted heavily by the Clippers, and the roster was in a state of flux. This was after the franchise had gone 56-26, and lost to the Pistons in the NBA Finals.

O’Neal wanted a contract extension, despite having a year left on his current deal, being scheduled to make $29.5MM in 2004/05, a raise from his 2003/04 salary of $26.57MM. O’Neal was the highest paid player in the league at the time, and for comparison, the second highest paid player was Dikembe Mutombo, who earned $19.68MM in 2004/05.

The day after the season ended, O’Neal demanded a trade. “The team wasn’t going in the right direction, and it wasn’t something I wanted to be a part of, so I asked to be traded,” O’Neal said at the time. After the trade, Shaq would end up signing a five-year, $100MM extension with the Heat in 2005. O’Neal was still the highest paid player that year, with Chris Webber coming in a close second, earning $19.12MM in 2005/06. Shaq would later be overtaken for the top spot in 2006/07 by Kevin Garnett, who was paid $21MM that season, compared to Shaq’s $20MM.

The Heat had a record of 42-40 the season prior to O’Neal’s arrival, and reached the second round of the playoffs where they lost to the Pacers in six games. They improved to 59-23 in Shaq’s first season, losing to the Pistons in the Conference Finals. In his second season, they went 52-30, capturing the franchise’s first NBA title by defeating Dallas in six games.

Lets look at O’Neal’s numbers during his time with the Heat:

  1. 2004/05: 22.9 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and 2.3 BPG. His slash line was .601/.000/.461.
  2. 2005/06: 20.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 1.8 BPG. His slash line was .600/.000/.469.
  3. 2006/07: 17.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 1.4 BPG. His slash line was .591/.000/.422.
  4. 2007/08: 14.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 1.6 BPG. His slash line was .581/.000/.494.

From Miami’s perspective the trade paid off handsomely the first two seasons, as O’Neal performed rather well, despite not being the same dominant player that he was during his time in Los Angeles. But injuries and conditioning problems eventually took their toll. In 2006/07, O’Neal missed 35 games with a knee injury, and wasn’t quite the same when he returned, and the team only won 44 games, losing to the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs.

The next season saw career lows from O’Neal in virtually every statistical category, and he missed time with various injuries. His coach at the time, Pat Riley, even went as far as to accuse O’Neal of faking some of the injuries to take time off. This was one factor that contributed to his relationship with Riley fracturing, and was the main reason the team decided to trade O’Neal midway through the 2007/08 season.

In February of 2008, O’Neal was dealt to the Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Shaq would see an upswing in his performance during his first full season in Phoenix, averaging 17.8 PPG and 8.4 RPG, while appearing in 75 contests, his most since the 1999/00 campaign. This was Shaq’s last productive season in the league, and his one-year stints in Cleveland and Boston after that were unremarkable.

During Shaq’s eight seasons in Los Angeles, the franchise averaged 54 wins and captured three championships. O’Neal averaged 24.3 PPG and 11.8 RPG during this stretch. The Lakers took an immediate hit after Shaq’s departure, going 34-48 and missing the playoffs during the 2004/05 season.

Caron Butler only spent one season in purple-and-gold, averaging 15.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.9 APG. He would then be dealt along with Chucky Atkins to the Wizards for Kwame Brown and Laron Profit.

Brown spent three seasons with the Lakers, and his numbers were:

  1. 2005/06: 7.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 1.0 APG. His slash line was .526/.000/.545.
  2. 2006/07: 8.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 1.8 APG. His slash line was .591/.000/.440.
  3. 2007/08: 5.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 0.8 APG. His slash line was .515/.000/.406.

The Lakers would trade Brown, along with Javaris Crittenton; Aaron McKie; the rights to Marc Gasol, and the Lakers’ 2008 (Donte Greene) and 2010 (Greivis Vasquez) first-rounders, for Pau Gasol and the Grizzlies’ 2010 second round pick (Devin Ebanks).

Brian Grant spent one season with the Lakers, appearing in 69 games, and averaging 3.8 PPG and 3.7 RPG. He was released after the season, then signed as a free agent with the Suns, but he only appeared in 21 games during the 2005/06 campaign, averaging a career low 2.9 PPG. This was Grant’s last year in the NBA.

Jordan Farmar was selected with the No. 26 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, and spent four seasons with the Lakers. His numbers during that stretch were:

  1. 2006/07: 4.4 PPG, 1.7 RPG, and 1.9 APG. His slash line was .422/.328/.711.
  2. 2007/08: 9.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 2.7 APG. His slash line was .461/.371/.679.
  3. 2008/09: 6.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 2.4 APG. His slash line was .391/.336/.584.
  4. 2009/10: 7.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, and 1.7 APG. His slash line was .435/.376/.671.

Farmar left after the 2009/10 season to sign a three-year, $12MM contract with the Nets. His numbers improved in New Jersey, where he averaged 10.0 PPG in his two seasons there, before being included in the deal with the Hawks that sent Joe Johnson to the Nets in 2012.

Lamar Odom was the most important and productive piece the Lakers received in the trade, and he was a valuable part of their Championship teams in 2009 and 2010. His numbers with the Lakers were:

  1. 2004/05: 15.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, and 3.7 APG. His slash line was .473/.308/.695.
  2. 2005/06: 14.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 5.5 APG. His slash line was .481/.372/.690.
  3. 2006/07: 15.9 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 4.8 APG. His slash line was .468/.297/.700.
  4. 2007/08: 14.2 PPG, 10.6 RPG, and 3.5 APG. His slash line was .525/.274/.698.
  5. 2008/09: 11.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 2.6 APG. His slash line was .492/.320/.623.
  6. 2009/10: 10.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 3.3 APG. His slash line was .463/.319/.693.
  7. 2010/11: 14.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 3.0 APG. His slash line was .530/.382/.675.

While Odom didn’t measure up to O’Neal’s production during his prime, he was certainly an effective player for the Lakers, and his versatility was a big part of Los Angeles’ success during his years with the team. It’s sometimes easy to forget just how talented a player he was in light of how far he’s fallen in the past few years, mainly due to his off the court issues and reported drug problems.

Odom’s time with the Lakers came to an end in 2011. He was originally a part of the trade with the Pelicans that would have sent Chris Paul to Los Angeles, but the league vetoed the trade. This was when the New Orleans ownership situation was in a state of flux, and the NBA was in charge of the franchise. Many team owners spoke up against the deal, but the league office said the trade was turned down for purely basketball reasons.

After the details of the proposed trade were made public, Odom stated that he felt disrespected, and demanded a trade to a contending team. One week later his wish was granted, and he was shipped to the Mavericks along with a 2012 second-rounder (Darius Johnson-Odom), which was later sold back to the Lakers, for an $8.9MM trade exception, along with a 2012 (top-20 protected) first-rounder. The first round pick was later sent to the Rockets in the deal that netted the Lakers Jordan Hill. The pick was then sent to the Thunder in the James Harden trade, who in turn used it to select Mitch McGary with the No. 21 selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

The O’Neal trade was one that worked out in the end for both sides. The Heat reaped the immediate benefits, winning the title in his second season with the team. Most franchises would gladly make a deal that netted them a banner to hang in their arena’s rafters. But Shaq’s tenure didn’t end well in Miami, due to injuries and clashes with the coaching staff, which somewhat lessens the Heat’s end of the trade despite their having obtained the best player in the deal.

The Lakers’ situation was different than the one that the Wolves now find themselves in with Love. Shaq was openly disruptive his last season and a half in Los Angeles, and he publicly demanded a trade. Retaining him could have caused Bryant to sign elsewhere as a free agent, which would have been disastrous, especially if he went to the Clippers.

Love has been a good soldier throughout all of the losing seasons in Minnesota, but the franchise still has no choice but to deal their star, lest they lose him for nothing next summer. It’s not an ideal situation, but the Timberwolves’ return for Love could turn out to be rather decent if Andrew Wiggins develops into the superstar many scouts project him to be.

Los Angeles didn’t net a player of Wiggins’ potential in their trade with Miami, but Odom was a vital piece of the puzzle during his time with the Lakers. It’s doubtful that the Wolves will contend for a championship in the next few seasons, though the Cavs hope to repeat what the Heat did after the Shaq trade and vie for the title in the coming years. It’s never an easy decision to trade away a star player, but some franchises have no other choice. Time will tell who wins the Love-Wiggins swap.

Kings Links: Shaq, Cousins, Ranadive

There was plenty of news coming out of Sacramento yesterday, as it was reported that Shaquille O'Neal had bought a stake in the Kings and would join the franchise's ownership group. Additionally, fourth-year big man DeMarcus Cousins appears to be closing in on a long-term extension with the club, and there's a chance something could be done in time for camp. Today's Kings links deal primarily with the fallout from those two stories, so let's dive in….

  • Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro confirmed today that extension talks with Cousins are progressing, but didn't offer any specific details or a timeline for the deal, tweets Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.
  • The Kings held a presser today to introduce O'Neal as a minority shareholder, and Shaq suggested that when he looks at Cousins, he sees "a young Shaquille O'Neal" (Twitter link). We heard yesterday that the former Laker hopes to "teach [Cousins] a few things to add to his game."
  • Shaq's share of the Kings will amount to between 2-4%, according to Mike Ozanian of
  • Tom Ziller of weighs in with five thoughts on the seemingly inevitable Cousins extension, discussing, among other things, Vivek Ranadive's role in negotiations and whether the Kings would be better off waiting until next summer.
  • As Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee writes, O'Neal will continue as a TNT analyst, but plans to spend a "significant" amount of time in Sacramento.

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Shaquille O’Neal Buys Stake In Kings

Over a decade ago, when Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and the Lakers won three consecutive championships, the team eliminated the Kings from the playoffs during each of its title runs. Now, putting a spin on an old cliche, after beating them, O'Neal is joining them. Sam Amick of USA Today reports that Shaq has bought a stake in the Kings, becoming a minority owner of the Sacramento franchise.

O'Neal joins a new ownership group in Sacramento that includes Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov, among others. Mastrov and O'Neal have a long-standing friendship, according to Amick, that dates back to when Shaq frequented Mastrov's 24-Hour Fitness gyms during his playing days in Los Angeles. Mastrov introduced O'Neal to Ranadive, who had been seeking a buzzworthy addition to the team's ownership group.

"I wanted to find somebody to add to the ownership group who truly represented 21st century basketball," Ranadive said. "[Someone] who represented my vision of NBA 3.0, which is having an understanding of technology, wanting to build a global brand and being global in their thinking, and really being committed to having an impact in the community."

For his part, Shaq is interested in turning the franchise he once dubbed "the Queens" from a perennial lottery team into a club that players are "knocking on the door" to join.

"Hopefully Vivek, with Mr. Mastrov and myself and the team and organization can get it back to where it used to be," O'Neal said. "I'm telling you these new plans, oh my. You're going to be like, 'Sacramento is doing what?' That's what we want people to say."

Amick suggests that O'Neal intends to be actively involved with the Kings, starting today. Shaq is set to meet with players and coaches in Sacramento today before having dinner with "new protege" DeMarcus Cousins, according to the USA Today scribe. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee adds (via Twitter) that the Kings will introduce the former Laker as a member of the ownership group tomorrow.

Post Dwightmare Reactions: Shaq, Lakers, Howard

Dwight Howard's decision to spurn the extra $30MM the Lakers could offer in order to join the Rockets has led to some revelations around the rest of the league. With Dwight as the big free agency coup of the summer, he's turned into the first domino as other teams have made moves in the wake of his announcment. 

But the fall-out from Dwight's decision is just starting to expand in scope, and there have been reactions all over. Perhaps most notably, are the words from another former Lakers and Magic star, Shaquille O'Neal.

O'Neal has been critical of Dwight Howard in the past, but he was a bit more condescending when he called Dwight's decision the "safe move," while speaking to assembled media Saturday. But O'Neal's reaction to Dwight's decision wasn't the only fall-out from D-12's move to Texas. Here are more Dwight Howard links now that he's finally made up his mind on where he's going next year:

  • A year ago, Howard's camp warned the Rockets that he wouldn't re-sign with Houston if he were traded there. This summer, other Howard suitors tried to convince the big man that James Harden is a selfish teammate. Still, the Rockets persevered, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy thinks Orlando got the better end of the deal when they dealt Howard in the blockbuster trade involving the Sixers, Nuggets and Lakers this past fall. Van Gundy spoke with Fox Sports Florida's Chris Tomasson about how the Magic ended up on top after the initial response had them losing the deal badly.
  • There's video of Shaq talking about Howard and the decision, via
  • columnist J.A. Adande writes about the flummoxing decision by Dwight to leave the Lakers and the extra money, especially when considering his stated motivation to win now.
  • The Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen sat down with the best Rockets center since Hakeem Olajuwon to get Howard's side of the story about what brought him to Houston.
  • Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News offers a sobering insight for Lakers fans after Howard's decision: Kobe Bryant might have lost his last chance at title number six.
  • Finally, we have Mike Bresnahan at the Los Angeles Times on the sketchy Lakers future after Dwight's decision to leave. Their first decision appears to have been not to amnesty Pau Gasol before the last season of his contract.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Odds & Ends: Clippers, Collins, Shaw, Karl

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports that Lionel Hollins met with the Clippers today and engaged in a lengthy conversation about their head coaching job. Turner also relays that Brian Shaw is expected to interview with team brass on either Monday or Tuesday next week (Twitter links). As for George Karl, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles tweets that while the Clippers haven't spoken to him directly, they have been in contact with his representative. Both ESPN's Marc Stein and Shelburne report that Karl and Shaw have emerged as the team's top two candidates for the job. 

As we gear up for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, here are a few miscellaneous notes to share from around the league tonight:

  • As far as his next contract goes, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki says that it'll probably be a two- or three-year deal (Jon Machota of SportsDayDFW). 
  • Sam Amick of USA Today hears that the Grizzlies reached out to Karl almost immediately after he was let go in Denver today. The Nuggets had to grant permission to Memphis in order to reach out to Karl because the severance agreement hasn't been finalized and the 62-year-old coach is still under contract.
  • Amick notes that the Grizzlies had their sights set on assistant Dave Joerger as their top candidate to replace Hollins, but made that option contingent on whether or not Karl would become available. 
  •'s Emiliano Carchia tweets that former NBA player Andres Nocioni is in talks regarding a contract extension with Baskonia, a Spanish ballclub that participates in the ACB and Euroleague. 
  • Flip Saunders confirmed on KFAN radio in Minnesota that the Timberwolves currently have Victor Oladipo ahead of Ben McLemore on their draft board, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. 
  • ESPN Insider Chad Ford says that many teams are bummed that Dario Saric is considering withdrawing his name from this year's draft, adding that several NBA executives had him ranked in their top five or top seven prospects. He also mentions that there are other teams who had no intention of drafting Saric that aren't thrilled with the news either, considering the notion that the draft gets weaker when talent leaves. Interestingly enough, Ford says he wouldn't be surprised if some NBA teams that are currently in Italy for the Eurocamp will try to travel to Croatia in order to make an attempt to persuade Saric to keep his name in consideration this year (All Twitter links). 
  • Ricky Ledo's agent, Seth Cohen, tells's Adam Zagoria that his client will not work out for the Thunder (Twitter link).
  • For whatever it's worth, Shaquille O'Neal said that he and Chris Webber would like to own the Kings (Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram noted the comment via Twitter). 

Odds & Ends: Shaq, Wilkerson, Vaughn

The Lakers will retire Shaquille O'Neal's #34 jersey on April 2nd at Staples Center before the team faces the Mavericks, tweets Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register. He adds that the team will also retire center Jamaal Wilkes' #52 jersey on December 28. Also, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's statue will be unveiled on November 16, according to Ding (via Twitter). Here's what else we're hearing from the NBA this evening…

  • Tyler Wilkerson has received an offer to attend training camp with the Spurs after a standout performance with their summer league team, says Dan McCarney of Spurs Nation. McCarney cited a tweet from NBA agent Seth A. Cohen for making the announcement.   
  • John Denton of highlights Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn as he prepares for his first season with Orlando and obtains some thoughts regarding his newly hired assistant coaches. 
  • According to an survey of "100 of ESPN's best basketball minds", the Lakers received 56 votes and the Thunder finished with 42 on the topic of who will be the Western Conference champions this year. 
  • Moke Hamilton of reviewed a list of the remaining NBA teams with cap and trade exceptions. 
  • Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio doesn't think that the Cavaliers are actively trying to move Daniel Gibson, contrary to what other rumblings might suggest (Twitter link). In a separate tweet, he asserts that Kyrie Irving is ahead of his recovery schedule and should be ready by training camp on October 1. 
  • Head coach Doug Collins likes the pieces that the 76ers have heading into training camp and is excited to start work, writes Marc Narducci of

Lawrence On Riley, Shaq, Bulls, Knicks

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News has a new column focusing on Miami Heat president Pat Riley, who is attempting to build a new dynasty in Miami following the team's NBA Finals victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Here are the highlights of the column:

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Bianchi On Shaq, Brian Shaw, Stan Van Gundy

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel eloquently deconstructs the candidacy of Shaquille O'Neal for the Magic general manager position in his latest column. Not only does his admonish the media for making Shaq's interest in the position far greater than it ended up being but he also gets in a dig at the future Hall of Famer for removing his name from consideration by stating "This is not a job I have an interest in pursuing." Bianchi says that's the equivalent of him stating he'd have no interest in pursuing Bill Simmons' gig at ESPN or in simpler Hoops Rumors terms, Paul Silas claiming no interest in coaching the 1995/1996 Bulls.

Bianchi says Brian Shaw is his odds-on pick as the most likely candidate to become the next head coach of the Magic. Shaw nearly succeeded Phil Jackson after his retirement from the Lakers last offseason but fell short of landing the job as Mike Brown beat him out for the position. The former guard spent the 2011/2012 season as Frank Vogel's associate head coach for the Pacers, who finished the regular season with a 42-24 record and kept the second round of the playoffs heavily competitive against the Heat.

Bianchi predicts it won't be long before Stan Van Gundy is once again sweating on the sidelines while drawing up plays in the huddle, especially when he's getting support from former top executives like Steve Kerr. "If I need a coach, I'm getting on the phone with Stan Van Gundy. He's one of the best in the league." Look for SVG to rebound with a team like Clippers or Trail Blazers if he's interested in coaching this upcoming season rather than settle for a lesser job with the Bobcats.

Shaq Not Interested In Magic GM Position

After a report surfaced last night suggesting Shaquille O'Neal would speak to the Magic about their general manager opening, today's discussion centered on whether the possibility was realistic and whether the former MVP would make a good executive. Shaq rendered that speculation moot this afternoon, however, announcing in a statement that he isn't interested in the position, according to Sekou Smith of

"When I first heard about the vacancy for the Orlando Magic general manager position, I was clearly intrigued." O'Neal said in the statement. "I was drafted by the Magic, I have a great love for the franchise, and I have made the city of Orlando my home. Additionally, I have great admiration and respect for the DeVos family. However, this is not a job I have an interest in pursuing. I feel very fortunate to be with TNT and to have the best job in sports. I look forward to many more years with Charles, Kenny and E.J. I wish the best for the Magic and I am confident that they will select a great GM and coach."

With O'Neal out of the running, the Magic will look elsewhere for their next GM, though Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes that the new general manager may not necessarily be in charge of basketball operations. Orlando may restructure their basketball operations department, team CEO Alex Martins told Robbins.

Another potential candidate for an executive position, Steve Kerr, said on a conference call today that he hasn't been contacted by the Magic and has no interest in a front office position for now, tweets Robbins.

Odds & Ends: Iverson, Clippers, Mavericks, Shaq

The 76ers defeated the Celtics tonight in an ugly, defensive affair to force a Game 7 on Saturday night in Boston.  Early in the game, an ESPN reporter spoke with Allen Iverson who was in town to deliver the game ball to tonight's referees.  Iverson said he still wants to play basketball, whether in the NBA or elsewhere.  Here are other links from late Wednesday night: