Monday , Jan , 19 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Pat Riley: Shawn Marion Trade Rumors Unfounded

A trade that would send forward Shawn Marion to Toronto for Jermaine O’Neal is far from imminent, Heat president Pat Riley said Sunday.

In his first comments since speculation of the potential deal intensified this weekend, Riley disputed published reports that he is waiting to see how well O’Neal’s troublesome right knee holds up before deciding on a deal.

O’Neal missed Sunday’s game in Toronto against the Suns to rest his knee. He had missed nine of the Raptors’ past 10 games with soreness. Coincidentally, Marion sat out Sunday’s game against the Thunder after tweaking his left groin in Saturday night’s loss to Houston.

”It is typical of this time of year in the NBA that people put the cart before the horse,” Riley said through a team spokesman before Sunday’s game.