Clipper Steve from Clips Nation
I would not have done the deal at the time, nor would I do it in hindsight.
Here's the thing... when you're the Suns, and you've gone deep into the Western Conference playoffs three straight years without emerging, you either have to take the next step, or you have to start over because Steve Nash isn't getting any younger. Of course, that was Kerr's thinking at the time he acquired Shaq as well - he chose to take one big gamble on breaking through during the Nash era. But it didn't work last season (when the Suns exited the playoffs in the first round) and it probably isn't going to work this season either.
Of course, it's highly unlikely they were going to break through with the same Nash-Stoudemire-Marion group either. But you can make an argument that bad luck played a part in the 05, 06 and 07 series losses (injury to Joe Johnson, injury to Amare, suspensions for Amare and Diaw), so who's to say that that group was due for some good luck in the playoffs. We just don't know what would have happened.
What we do know is that Shaq's $20M is still on the books for next season, while Marion would have been coming off. It was an intersting gamble, but I would have given the playoffs one more run with the existing group. In the end, the Shaq experiment is likely just going to delay a very painful rebuilding process by another year.