Toronto gets Jermaine O'Neal, while giving up the #17 pick, TJ Ford and Rasho Nesterovic and an unknown player to balance salaries to the Pacers. If O'Neal is healthy AND motivated, a Bosh/O'Neal 4/5 combo to go with the outside players could be an extremely dangerous combination. This could propel them past Cleveland and Orlando into the 3rd slot in the East behind Boston and Detroit. A break here and a break there from that slot could get them into a position to challenge for a championship.
The deal means that we'll see Jose Calderon, Full-Time NBA Starter. Don't get me wrong, I love Calderon, but I'm still not sure if this guy is a starter on a contending team.
“How is it that I am a good actor? What I do is I... pretend to be the person I’m portraying. You’re confused. Case in point: in Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson comes to me and says ‘I would like you to be Gandalf the Wizard,’ and I said ‘You are aware that I am not really a wizard?’ and Peter Jackson said ‘I would like you to use your acting skills to portray a wizard for the duration of the show.’ So I said ‘Okay’ and then I said to myself ‘Mmm.. How do I do that?’ And this is what I did: I imagined that I was a wizard, and then I pretended, and acted, in that way on the stage. How did I know what to say? The words were written down for me in a script. How did I know where to stand? People told me where to stand." -- Sir Ian McKellen, Extras
The deal won't be finalized until July 1, when T.J. Ford's base-year compensation tag expires, but... yeah.
As a Pacers fan, I'm gonna miss JO. He was a six-time All-Star with us, but I'm afraid his recurring injuries have simply robbed him of the ability to play to his full potential. No doubt his #7 jersey gets raised to the rafters of Conseco Fieldhouse when he's done playing, and in the meantime we get T.J. Ford (who with any luck will replace Jamaal Tinsley as starting point guard), Rasho Nesterovic (a serviceable center), the #17 pick and a player to be named later (I'm betting it's Crash Davis).
EDIT: ESPN is reporting that the Player to Be Named Later is Maceo Baston (who played for the Pacers in the 2006-07 season), and that the Pacers will give the Raptors their second-round pick, 41st overall.
Jermaine O'Neal (PF/C) #41 Pick in NBA Draft
T.J. Ford (PG) Rasho Nesterovic (C) Maceo Baston (PF) #17 Pick in NBA Draft
(edited by ekedolphin on 26.6.08 0320) "You have broken into our hideout, violated the sanctity of our lair. For this we should turn your bones into powder. However, you raise a very interesting proposition. Therefore heads, we accept, and tails, we blow your damned head off!"
--Two-Face, Batman Forever
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After 5 games, I'd say it's pretty safe to put the Sonics above the "fighting for a spot" group. They are definitely not going to get in the Big Four, but I think they will take the spot that most people had Portland in, like a solid 6 seed.