I apologize for the horrible headline, but its the best one i could think of. As a Suns fan, I was always apprehensive about the Shaq trade. Shaq is far beyond his peak. If this trade had happened in the 2006-07 season, I would understand. But really, I don’t understand Mike D’antoni’s logic. I mean when you look at the previous season, the Suns were terrific. Their offense fired on all cylinders, and they lost a hard fought series to the spurs (who cheat, but more on that another time). This season, the Suns still managed to make the play offs, and almost got swept by the Spurs. It is not entirely Shaq’s fault, yes, but i feel that Shaq really disrupted that offense. in the 2006-07 season, Steve Nash lead the league in assists. However this season, that honor is taken by Chris Paul (who deserves it don’t get me wrong). The Suns are a much more talented team than the Hornets from a player standpoint, so logically Nash should lead the league in assists consistently. However i truly feel that Shaq slowed them down this year,and it almost seemed like the Suns staff was making excuses for signing him. For example signing him to be “a presence in the locker room” is a load of bull. I’m no NBA GM, but if one of the reasons you sign a guy is because of his great attitude in the locker room, you could really sign anyone. After Shaq joined the Suns, their record was not nearly as good as it was last season. I understand why they would want shaq for interior defense. but really signing him made them even more weak on the perimeter.The only way really this situation could be fixed would require a Flux Capacitor. If Phoenix had not traded Joe Johnson, Had Signed Rajon Rondo, and hell maybe even held onto Kurt Thomas, this whole situation would be different. With Joe Johnson, they would have a great scorer, and unhappy Marion would become Expendable. With Rondo, you have a flashy back up, giving Nash some time on the bench. Even with Thomas, you get a fairly good defender, who can also knock it down mid range, a great attribute in a fast break offense. If all this had happened, I strongly believe the Suns would be in contention, or would have won a championship by now.The Suns of the past two years have been great to watch yes, But they could never win a championship with the kind of players that they had. It just goes to show, you really should take youth seriously, instead of gunning for a championship immediately by signing aging veterans (see: Dallas Mavericks).Thanks to Kode-Esh for the stats.