Blockbuster Trades Hype NBA Draft

Dave SandersContributor IJune 26, 2009

Many big trades went down before the NBA draft so let's get to them.

First, Shaquille O'Neal, of the Phoenix Suns, was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers to play with LeBron James.  Let's break down what they are getting.  A motivated former MVP who knows he has one year with LeBron James, plenty of matchups with the "Master of Panic" Stan Van Gundy and a potential NBA finals matchup with Kobe Bryant.  Coming off his best season in a while, Shaq has a great chance to win one last ring.

One puzzling thing that I heard during the NBA Draft last night was Mark Jackson's assumption that this trade doesn't make the Cavs better.   He says they need to make another trade for this to work.  I agree and disagree.  The Cavs are a better team today than they were last week.  

Getting Shaq and only giving up Ben Wallace (who may retire) and Sasha Pavlovic helps your team.  Flat out.  Shaq is still a force.  They still need to get a wing player who can defend smaller and more athletic power forwards like Rashard Lewis so I agree that another move is coming.

Second, Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson were traded from the Nets to the Orlando Magic.  In return, the Nets receive Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston, and Tony Battie.  

Good move for both teams.  Vince Carter brings more star power to an all-star lineup in Orlando.  This all assuming Hedo Turkoglu is re-signed by the Magic.  I just wonder if there are enough shots to go around.  

Their starting line-up potential could be: Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson.  

Very dangerous.  Anyone in that lineup can beat you.

For the Nets, they rid themselves of the last of the big 3 (Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, and Vince Carter) in an effort to get younger and hopefully put a competitive team on the floor.  Courtney Lee is a good young guard who potentially could be an all-star someday.  

I expect Rafer Alston to get traded again.  I don't see him being happy coming off the bench.  He wasn't happy in the NBA Finals when Jameer Nelson took some of his minutes.

The third major trade, involved Richard Jefferson going to the Spurs.  The Bucks received Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, Fabricio Oberto.  This move clears up a lot of cap space for the Bucks and gives a chance for the Spurs to make one last run at a title.