Wednesday , Jan , 21 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Shawn Marion for Josh Howard?

As the Miami Heat continues to consider a deal for Jermaine O’Neal, Miami has been giving thought to other Shawn Marion trade scenarios, including one involving Dallas small forward Josh Howard, according to an official involved in the Marion discussions. Several teams have inquired about Marion, who’s unlikely to re-sign here, but it’s not certain a deal will happen.

The Heat considers center its No. 1 need and O’Neal as the best center available but remains concerned about his sore right knee (which has sidelined him 11 games this season) and the $23 million he’s due in 2009-10, the last year of his contract. It’s 50-50 whether Miami will accept Toronto’s offer of O’Neal for Marion and Marcus Banks, the official said. The O’Neal camp is optimistic it will happen.