Monday , Jul , 12 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Shaq agrees to trade with Heat

Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal has agreed to a trade to the Miami Heat, according to a published report.

The Miami Herald, in a story posted on its Web site Saturday, is reporting that the deal now needs only to be finalized by the two teams.

Shaq agrees to trade with Heat

O’Neal, who announced after the Lakers lost in the NBA Finals to Detroit that he wanted to be traded, is set to be dealt to the Heat in exchange for Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and Caron Butler.

A trade to the Heat would mark a return to Florida for O’Neal, who played the first four years of his career with the Orlando Magic.

O’Neal and his representatives met with Heat president Pat Riley and general manager Randy Pfund at an undisclosed location in Orlando on Saturday. According to the Herald, O’Neal said that he expected a deal to occur “soon, real soon.”

O’Neal helped Orlando to the NBA Finals in 1995, then spent one more year with the Magic before signing with the Lakers prior to the 1996-97 season. He won the NBA MVP Award following the 1999-2000 season and is a three-time NBA Finals MVP.

The speculation surrounding O’Neal’s departure heightened Saturday as the Lakers introduced Rudy Tomjanovich has their new head coach.

07/10 17:29:56 ET