This morning, it's being reported that Shaq being traded from the Suns to the Cavs is looking more likely. The Cavs would send Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to the Suns and would receive O'Neal in return.
Essentially, with Wallace's possible retirement leaving the possibility of a buyout, and the fact that Pavlovic is only owed $1.5 million this season if cut, this trade would bring a great deal of salaray cap relief to the Suns and could help push the Cavs over the hump they seemed to reach in the Eastern Conference Finals.
As a fan of basketball in genera,l and not so much a particular team, I'm extremely excited about this possibility. Bringing the experience and power of Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland to pair up with LeBron James would be amazing.
It would almost certainly lock up a title in Cleveland in 2010, the last year on James' current contract. In addition, lining up Zydrunas Ilgauskus and Shaquille O'Neal side-by-side would be a huge frontcourt, as the two seven-footers would intimidate all.
Of course, Big Z's knock is that he doesn't play the post well, but the presence of Shaq in that lineup would take care of that. This is, of course, presuming that Shaq played as effectively as he did last season.
I have to say, however, I don't know that this is the wisest move for the Cavaliers in the long term. Sure, they could finally get a chip for a sports-success-starved city, but this wouldn't really contribute to future runs, now would it?
Shaq is far from a young talent and is clearly on the downside of his career. Adding him looks good in the present, but what about beyond next season?
In terms of preparing for life down the road, I would much prefer to see the Cavaliers chase a younger post player, perhaps Al Jefferson or maybe even Zach Randolph; they need someone that you can get many more years out of.
So, while this move may be the push the Cavs need to finally get that elusive title, it is also clearly a move made out of desperation. They're trying to ensure a title for one year, hoping and praying that it's enough to convince LeBron to stick around.
Now, if you've seen any of my other comments or articles, you know that I believe that winning a title in Cleveland before his contract is up works against LeBron staying in Cleveland, but it appears that I'm the only one of that opinion, so we'll have to wait and see the long-term ramifications if this trade should it occur.