Shaq Will Join LeBron In Cleveland: You Heard It Here First

Hollund ShafCorrespondent IJune 2, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 15:  Shaquille O'Neal #32 of the Phoenix Suns looks on against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game on March 15, 2009 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

As the final horn sounded, ending the Cleveland Cavaliers season with a resounding thud, one thing was abundantly clear: The Cavs need to make changes in order to appease the suddenly petulant LeBron James, and remain in contention for the NBA's eastern crown.

Meanwhile, in the Arizona desert, the Big Cactus, A.K.A. Shaquille O'Neal, is growing restless in the midst of missing the playoffs for the first time since his rookie season.

My crystal ball reveals that the climate for a deal to accommodate the needs of both teams is near, and Shaq will be Joining Lebron James in America's Comeback City.

There are two crucial factors that facilitate this deal.

Cleveland desperately needs a partner for NBA MVP LeBron James who can help him shoulder the load in guiding a team to an NBA championship.

There are no shoulders bigger than that of Shaquille O'Neal, who showed last season that he has some diesel left in the tank, and would serve as a stop-gap superstar before the summer of 2010, where the free agent crop will rank among the best ever.

Meanwhile Phoenix has to start to think about the future.

Phoenix may be willing to start the rebuilding process a season early and deal O'Neal so they can garner anything other than cap space before his contract expires at seasons end.

With Orlando's ascension, and the Boston Celtics return to health, Cleveland needs to reload to remain in the hunt in the east.

Even at this advanced stage in his Hall of Fame career, O'Neal would give James a weapon like he has never had, while also feeding O'Neal's immense desire to compete for a title in what may be his swan song.

Remember...You heard it here first.


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