Okay. I thought that this trade talk might just have been an election-induced hallucination. But apparently Phoenix is seriously considering doing this. A few points. One, as Hollinger says, it's bizarre to be making a big deal of any sort if you're the Suns:

The Phoenix Suns have the best record in the Western Conference, 1½ games ahead of their closest rival. They have the best scoring margin in the conference, and the best offensive efficiency in the NBA. They're 8-2 in their past 10 games (while outscoring opponents by nine points per game). And the Suns have a slew of home games coming up because their early schedule was so road-heavy.



On top of that, you don't even need to subscribe to an especially strong form of the "Shaq is dead" thesis to think this is a bad deal. The Matrix is a very, very, very good basketball player. An excellent defender, a great rebounder, and a very efficient scorer. And he's a great fit for the Suns' system, which doesn't rely on him to "create his own shot" but does need someone like Marion who can offer speed and shooting at the four spot. It's on top of all that that you need to look at Marion as a guy who's offering basically peak-level performance while Shaq is past his sell-by date.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.