MIAMI - Shawn Marion's most memorable play with the MiamiHeat was his last.
Hours after Marion's last-second dunk lifted the Heat past theChicago Bulls, he was traded Friday to the Toronto Raptors inexchange for Jermaine O'Neal, a person familiar with the terms toldThe Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NBA hadyet to sign off on the deal, which also had Marcus Banks and cashconsiderations going to Toronto and Jamario Moon and a conditionaldraft pick to Miami.
The proposed trade was first reported by ESPN.com.
Miami and Toronto discussed the long-awaited deal for weeks and,with the trade deadline looming Wednesday, decided to move forward.Miami also was linked to trade talk with several other teams,including Phoenix and Sacramento.
Neither the Heat nor the Raptors had any immediate comment. NBAofficials must approve the trade, which typically happens byconference call, and it was unclear if that would occur laterFriday. All players involved would likely have to pass physicals aswell, although they can be waived by agreement.
Marion -- whom Miami acquired just over a year ago from Phoenixfor Shaquille O'Neal -- was referred to by both Heat coach ErikSpoelstra and president Pat Riley in recent weeks as the team's"second-best player" behind Dwyane Wade.
He took a bounce pass from Wade and dunked with 1.1 seconds leftThursday night, lifting Miami to a 95-93 win and sparking the sortof on-court, chest-bumping celebration that's rarely seen in theregular season.
It was his last hurrah, though, with Miami.
In Phoenix for All-Star weekend, Wade did not immediatelyrespond to a request for comment on the trade, saying he would waituntil the deal was officially announced.
Marion was a key part of Miami's 28-24 start to this season,averaging 12 points (third on the team behind Wade and MichaelBeasley, who now could replace him in the starting lineup at smallforward) and a team-best 8.7 rebounds.
But he wanted a long-term contract, something Miami was notwilling to provide.
One of Miami's primary areas of concentration, just like everyother team in the NBA, is keeping cap space clear for the summer of2010, when the likes of Wade, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, AmareStoudemire and Chris Bosh can be free agents.
And this trade clears another $4.8 million in cap room for thatsummer; that's what Banks, who had fallen out of the rotation inMiami, would have been owed in the 2010-11 season.
Plus, it gets Miami a true center in Jermaine O'Neal. The30-year-old averaged 13.5 points and seven rebounds for Toronto,but has been slowed by injuries. He's owed nearly $23 million nextseason, but that money won't affect Miami's free-agent plans for2010.
Miami has played an array of players at center this season,including Jamaal Magloire, Joel Anthony, Mark Blount and evenUdonis Haslem, a forward who gives up several inches in height andat least 20 pounds to every other true center in the NBA.
Banks averaged 2.6 points in 16 games with Miami this year. Moonaveraged 7.3 points in 54 games with Toronto, and becomes a freeagent after this season.