The reason: The Cavs is NOW desperate to get a "reliable" bigman.
Here are my observations on the Cavs-Magic series that might have brought them to this situation:
1.) They had no low-post answer for Dwight Howard.
2.) Aside from LeBron James's driving layups (one of those was even blocked by Marcin Gortat), the Cavs had NO inside scoring threat.
3.) Big Z is "Too Soft, Too Slow."
4.) Orlando's defense forced the Cavs to take jump shots several times in that series(which the Cavs missed).
At this point, the Cavs obviously want to improve their chances of winning a championship by getting a bigman who can score and defend inside, someone like Shaq.
Sure, Shaq can give you double digit-a-night numbers, grab rebounds, and a threat in the paint. He can also make it much, much harder for anybody in the league to do their thing down low, even on Dwight Howard's caliber.
But reality bites though as O'Neal isn't the old Shaq. He can slow down the Cavs, and will be 38 by 2010 so these facts would be the risks that the Cavs are about (and more than willing) to take at this time.
How about the future?
Don't get me wrong, Shaq was the most dominant center in his prime and still can bring a lot to the table that's why he's worth a gamble. But let's face it: Shaq can only play at his best possibly for the next three to four years and by that time, LeBron is only 26.
Sooner than we might expect it, he'll play less minutes due to injuries or other age-related conditions. That's why I think that the Cavs should think about getting a younger, quicker bigman who can play as hard and as productive as Shaq and can spend more years with their MVP.
How about Amar'e Stoudemire?
The 6-foot-10, 249 pounder has averaged 21 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game in the first seven years of his career and still has room for improvement, particularly on the defensive end which Cavs Coach Mike Brown is really good at.
He can also be an effective frontcourt scorer for the Cavs using his size and quickness. Paired with his leaping ability and that recently developed 17-foot jumper, this guy is "almost" unguardable.
Not trying to overrate the guy but I've watched him from his rookie year (which he won the 2002 Rookie of the Year award) and I knew he's got potential. For years, he has developed from a "dunker" to a "scorer" due to his exceptional offensive skills.
The only thing that could hold him back from being a successful team player with the Cavs would be his ego.
If Amar'e is willing to take that "ego" factor away and humbly accept his role as Lebron's wingman, then there would be the makings of a championship team and they would be a great dynamic duo for years to come.
The question is, who are the players to be traded to get him?
Last February, the Suns
showed interest in acquiring Delonte West. One possible scenario would involve Delonte West and Ben Wallace for Amar'e. This is not a bad option at all for the Suns as Wallace might retire by 2010-2011 season.
I'm sure Cleveland
is up for something special this summer so let's just hope for the best.