Shaquille O’Neal traded to Miami Heat
The Miami Heat have acquired Shaquille O’Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, Caron Butler and a first-round draft pick.
O’Neal, who announced after the Lakers lost in the finals to Detroit that he wanted to be traded, returns to Florida where he played the first four years of his career with the Orlando Magic. The 7’1″, 345-pound center helped Orlando earn a trip to the 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, after averaging 29.7 points and 13.6 rebounds. O’Neal collected his third consecutive NBA Finals MVP trophy in 2002 after averaging 36.3 points and 12.3 rebounds in leading the Lakers to a four-game sweep over New Jersey.
O’Neal was signed by Los Angeles as a free agent on July 8, 1996 after four seasons in Orlando. The Magic selected him with the first pick overall in the 1992 draft. In 809 career games, O’Neal has averaged 27.1 points and 12.1 rebounds. In 158 playoff contests, he has posted impressive averages of 27.2 points and 12.9 boards.
The trade was completed after one final obstacle was straightened out on Wednesday. Odom’s contract calls for a 15 percent “trade kicker,” which means Odom was owed an extra 15 percent on his contract for being traded.