It’s official, Miami sent Antoine Walker, Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien and a 1st round pick to the T-Wolves in exchange for Mark Blount and Ricky Davis. Pat Riley and Heat GM Randy Pfund have been aggressively pursing trade options and after failing to acquire Ron Artest or Mike Bibby from the Kings, the Heat finally struck.
What does this deal mean?
Miami: The writing has been on the wall for Antoine Walker. Riley blasted Antoine throughout training camp for showing up out of shape. The only thing holding up a deal was finding a team to take the thick forward off of Miami's hands.
With Wade out for another month and the Heat starting 0-7 in preseason, Riley had to do something. That’s not to mention some type of injury you can be assured Shaq will come down with during the first month of the season.
Davis brings Miami a top tier athlete that can get out in transition and score the rock. He plays with tremendous energy and has the ability to get above the rim. There are going to be times when Davis makes you shake your head in astonishment, but if he’s able to stay in check, this could be a valuable piece to the puzzle.
When the Shaq / Wade combo is healthy, the Heat are hoping Davis can be that third scorer and lock down defender they need in order to make a run. People (myself included) were hopeful that 4th year swingman, Dorrell Wright would finally show up and make his presence felt in the NBA. Apparently Riley doesn’t feel Wright is up for the challenge just yet.
The Miami club scene will certainly get a healthy dose of Davis, but I’m confident that with Shaq, Wade and Riley running the show, Davis will be forced to keep his head on straight.
Minnesota: It’s no secret that Minnesota is playing for the future. Nobody's acquiring Antoine Walker thinking he could be a key component for a championship run. However, Walker brings cap flexibility with just two guaranteed years left on his contract. Throw in a first round pick and a few expiring contracts and the deal is a no-brainer.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Walker was bought out, or demanded a trade tomorrow!