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Shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers made a stunning acquisition to become a Western Conference powerhouse, the Phoenix Suns have attempted to follow suit. They have shipped fantasy stud Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat for Shaquille O'Neal. After watching Shaq endure his worst season ever, the Heat must be thrilled to have salary cap relief and an upgrade at point guard. Instead of their franchise being in financial hell while waiting for the big man to retire, they are already on their way to rebuilding a new core around Dwyane Wade. Here are the fantasy ramifications of this deal:

Shaquille O'Neal, C (PHX): The Phoenix Suns didn't want to make an off-season move for Kevin Garnett, who is still one of the best players in the league, but blew up their core in the middle of the season for Shaquille O'Neal, who is having one of the worst seasons in his career. If you own Shaq in your leagues, this is a nightmare. The Suns don't care about fantasy stats or the regular season and will keep O'Neal on the sidelines until he is completely healthy. Furthermore, they won't burn him out since all they care about is the playoffs. Don't expect him to top 25 minutes per game and don't expect much from him period. The offense won't run through him and he is expected to be a defensive presence. You want more? The Suns run and Shaq can't -- how's that for a theoretical mismatch? Playing 25 minutes in Phoenix's run-and-gun might feel like playing 45 in Miami's regular halfcourt game. Enjoy.

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Boris Diaw, F (PHX): Boris Diaw is the guy you want to run and pick up off your waiver wire. He should be a starter now that Marion is gone and even if he's not, the Suns will have to replace Marion's 36 minutes per game, which means Diaw will see a big bump. In 10 starts as a forward, Diaw has averaged 11.2 PPG, 5.6 RPB, 5.2 APG and 0.9 SPG. Those are dandy numbers that you can use.

Raja Bell/Grant Hill/Leandro Barbosa (PHX): These three guys will also get a bump in minutes now that Marion is off in South Beach. Keep in mind that the Suns were only seven-deep before the trade and now they are six-deep until Shaq is ready to play. All three of these players will have a natural increase in production since they will have an increase in minutes.

D.J. Strawberry/Alando Tucker (PHX): The Suns have a couple of youngsters in Alando Tucker and D.J. Strawberry who may or may not get a bump in minutes as backups. It's not clear if their role will increase, and until you know more, don't bother with these two.

Marcus Banks, PG (MIA): Marcus Banks was a bust for the Suns, but the Miami Heat are getting a steal of a throw-in. Not only do they get Shawn Marion, a vast upgrade over a useless part like Shaq, and salary cap relief, they also get a decent young point guard who will likely immediately start. The scrubs that have started at point guard for Miami this year (Chris Quinn and Jason Williams) don't play defense like Banks and are not as explosive at the offensive end. Banks can score, but he is inconsistent. Jason Williams is likely gone at the trade deadline since his contract is expiring and with Banks seeing heavy minutes on a team with Wade and Marion, he could put up some decent stats.

Shawn Marion, F (MIA): Shawn Marion is a top-five fantasy stud and his value may not drop as much as people think, just because he is leaving Phoenix. He's still going to have to play heavy minutes in Miami, and he is still in the final year of his contract, which should add some extra motivation. Don't forget: Marion desperately wanted out of Phoenix so don't be surprised if he's energized throughout the rest of the season -- even on a losing team like Miami.

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