The report out of Sacramento mentioning Miami as a possible trade partner for Ron Artest doesn't make sense for the Heat. The trade suggested in the Sacramento Bee has the Heat sending Shawn Marion and his $17.8 million expiring contract to the Kings for Artest (who has an expiring contract) and Kenny Thomas (two years left on his deal).
Miami has been interested in Artest before, but this rumor seems unfounded at this point. Miami would like to get a center and a point guard. This trade would fill none of those needs. Thomas, a power forward, is owed more than $18 million over the next two seasons. Now, if Sacramento were to make the trade Artest and center Brad Miller--though their salaries exceed Marion's--it would be more attractive. (Artest, a small forward, is owed about $7.4 million next season.)
Heat General manager Randy Pfund told reporters Monday the team is in "wait mode." Don't expect the Heat to be desperate to unload Marion now. That's not to say Miami wouldn't listen to offers, but the front office is likely to let free agency play out more because then it will become more clear which teams still have needs to fill--and have a strong interest in doing so via trade. Of course, the Heat has needs to fill--and limited salary cap space to do so--but a opening night lineup featuring Dwyane Wade, Michael Beasley and Marion should be good enough to make the playoffs.
Even though it's nothing more than rumor now, would you trade Marion for Artest and Thomas?