This deal is a disaster for many reason. Most importantly, Shaq is not all that good at basketball anymore. The lone remaining strength of O'Neal's game is his post-up offense. Unfortunately the Suns are the last team in the world that can accomodate these strengths for two reasons. First the Suns are at their best when running, not waiting for lumbering giants to set up shop in the lane. Second with the Suns his touches in the post will come at the expense of Amare Stoudemire; a decidedly better offensive player at this point.
Sure he brought a depressing Boober-esque presence to the otherwise happy Fraggle Rock type atmosphere in Phoenix. But Shawn Marion was such a huge part of what the Suns did. He could ably guard the 2 through the 4 positions, rebound brilliantly, and outrun every other power forward in the league down the floor.
This trade was an act of desperation by a team that had no reason to be desperate. Last season the Suns may well have won a title, if not for some of their best players foolishly leaving the bench during a fight. This year they have the best record in the Western Conference. Why panic? Sure the Lakers improved themselves by adding Gasol. But the Suns style of play could really have given the slow, defensively challenged Lakers fits. Were Gasol and Bynum going to stop Marion and Stoudemire from leaking out on the break? Not a chance. By adding Shaq, the Suns are commiting to slowing the game down, thus completely playing into the Lakers hands. Phil Jackson must be smiling right now.