Cavaliers Trade Rumors: Shaq Headed to CLE?

shaq-bronThis morning I briefly linked to an ESPN report that the Cavs and Suns were once again involved in trade talks centered on the Cavs acquiring Shaquille O’Neal.  The internet was set ablaze with discussion and banter shortly after the report aired on Sportscenter and was posted to ESPN’s website.  Steve Kerr and Danny Ferry are friendly former teammates and are in constant contact in their roles as respective GMs of the Suns and Cavs.  We have been down this road before but various outlets, including ESPN’s Chris Broussard, were calling this trade “likely” this morning on TV. 

Broussard, after talking with sources inside both the Cavs and Suns organizations, has since written that a deal is not imminent 

Talk between the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers of a trade that would have Shaquille O’Neal playing with LeBron James next season has not gone beyond the preliminary stages and no deal is imminent, two executives with knowledge of the discussions told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.  The clubs have not spoken within the past few days, but sources say talks of a possible trade involving O’Neal, Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic never completely died after it was first discussed in February.

As with any trade, there are obvious pros and cons to the deal.   As noted by Broussard and first reported by the Arizona Republic this morning, the trade is a pure financial move for the Suns who would get Ben Wallace’s expiring contract (and potential buyout possibilities in the event he does actually retire) and Sasha Pavlovic’s contract.  Suns owner Robert Sarver has consistently tried to build his team on the cheap and nearly succeeded in advancing to the Finals on more than one occasion.  With that being the case, the obvious advantage of the deal is that the Cavs would be losing two “non-contributing core” parts and adding what would most certainly be a starting center and a core piece of the team. 

The Cavaliers built their team this year to beat the defending champion Boston Celtics.  As we all know, that never happened and they are now looking for pieces this offseason which would address the problems exposed by the Orlando Magic last month.  Acquiring Shaq would be a clear move to help against Dwight Howard in the paint who the Cavs clearly had no answer for last month.  One point of caution, however, would be Shaq’s defense against the pick-and-roll which the Magic utilized so well with Hedo and Howard.  In this instance, I am not sure Shaq would be much of an upgrade over Z as he has had trouble defending the pick-and-roll in the past.  In numerous other obvious ways, Shaq is an upgrade over Z and it would certainly be enticing to see Z come off the bench. 

Some think this would be a  reactionary move of “desperation” designed to take one last shot at a title before LeBron leaves next year.  As Scott noted this morning, the trade would essentially tie up the Cavs roster for the year and hinder their ability to make any sort of trade during the season (like say…Chris Bosh).  This would most likely be the final product we go to war with next postseason.  I personally think this would be a good move and could only improve the roster of a team that already had the best record in the league.  I assume most of the fanbase wants this deal to go through as it would energize the organization and fans after a depressing exit from the playoffs.  What say you?

  • eddie

    love the trade. but we still need a slasher like a matt barnes type and may still need one more young big

  • JD Shaver

    Deal for the big fella

  • JM

    Really they would take Wallace and Pavlovic? Please do it!

  • Sam

    Yes this would be a good trade. Shaq will be the most motivated he has been in years for the following reasons:
    1. Shaq knew he wasnt going to get a ring last year and still played out of his mind. Put him on a contender and with LeBron James, the media coverage will be out of this world and Shaq will want to shine.
    2. Kobe is going to win a ring this year and talk will come out that he never needed Shaq and Kobe was always the better of the two. Shaq will want to show Kobe and the NBA he still has got what it takes to win a ring.
    3. This could be his last stop on an amazing NBA career. If he goes out and duplicates his all-nba third team selection performance, this trade will be a steal.

    I hope it goes through, this could be a great start to the offseason.

  • The Other Tim


  • B-bo

    I’d rather have Bosh, but if this is all we can get then the move pretty much has to be made. And if it gets Sasha off the roster, that’s a bonus.

  • Ricky

    We can do better. Shaq had a good year last year but we don’t know how much he has left. And while he helps our matchup with Dwight and Orlando, he hurts us against Boston because they use Perkins to set screens often and Shaq would have trouble keeping up. He provides us low-post scoring we don’t have right now, but you put him and Varejao in the same lineup and all of a sudden the paint is too clogged up with big men for LeBron to drive to the hole. And don’t even think about playing Shaq and Z at the same time, defensively that would get torn apart. It wouldn’t be a bad trade, but we can do a lot better, we can find a better fit for this team

  • scott

    Windy said its legit. First one in weeks…

  • CJG

    I love the idea, but one concern….who says we still couldn’t face the celtics next year? I am fearing that by focusing on preparing for just one team, we lose sight of becoming an all around solid team. We could face the Celtics next year, with a healthy Garnett. Or a hungry Orlando. Or a youthful AND hungry Bulls or Hawks. Next years postseason is a loooong way off, and anything can and will happen.

  • bobby

    I wouldnt take this trade right now, and try to see what else is there. If we are looking at this closer to the trade deadline next year, and we still have the same basic team, then do it, but right now, i don’t really see the point.

  • AMC

    I love this deal – trading two guys who aren’t part of the core and getting what would definitely be a motivated shaq in return. Use the mle on a big man, draft a backup pg, resign andy and we’re ready to roll.

  • cindy

    I think I’d like to know more about what Shaq’s contract would mean for the Cavs long term as opposed to just next year.

  • scott

    It wouldn’t mean any more long term than say wallace. He’s an expiring deal that can actually provide in the meantime.

  • Ryan

    This will not be as great a trade as every1 thinks it will be. Yes Shaq is Shaq but is no longer Shaq Diesel. And all this talk of Kobe can’t win without Shaq, well Shaq can’t win without a superstar either. Orlando in 1995 went to the finals but were swept. Shaq went to L.A. and with Kobe they went to 4 and won 3. Shaq goes to Miami and wins 1 with Dwayne Wade and then he goes to Phoenix and wins nothing, Phoenix does have some stars such as Nash, and Amare but no bench and no coaching is critical in big games. Lebron will never win a championship with Shaq because just don’t have it anymore.

  • Midwest Transplant

    it’s a terrible deal. shaq’s nowhere near the dominant player he once was and his contract will hamstring the cavs going into next season.

    ferry screwed the pooch by not dealing szczerbiak for a big man this year and getting shaq reeks of desperation.

    we don’t need another aging, past-his-prime star whose ego supercedes his talent at this point in his career. we need a young, talented defensive player who can clog the paint and dead-eye shooters, and shaq is neither of those.

  • kevin

    i think it’d be great. You talked about creating match-up problems for other teams…shaq and LeBron in the same team, add regular-season-Mo and Delonte west, that’s impossible to control!!! And somebody talked about varejao and shaq playing the 4 and the 5. What about Lebron at the 4 and shaq at the 5 mh? And don’t forget that the cavs have the MLE to spend. Add Rasheed(or mcdyess) into the mix…and that’s a championship.

    And i’m not sure that with Big Ben and Sasha’s contracts the cavs would get a better player. And shaq’s contract ends in 2010 and he said he would stop his career at that point!

  • DocZeus

    Make the deal. We win the championship this year if we traded for Shaq in February.

    Next year, we will get next to nothing with Ben Wallace even if Wallace plays so trading him for Shaq is a huge upgrade even if Shaq is 70% of what he used to be. He’s still virtually unguardable down low and just having on the team means that we won’t get abused by the likes of Dwight Howard, Yao Ming, Garnett or Gasol.

    What I like the deal is this… it doesn’t hurt our chances at signing Bosh or Yao Ming or Amare Stoudemire in the off-season next year. It shores up our weaknesses against the Rockets, the Lakers and the Magic, the three teams we can’t be in a seven game series as is and doesn’t hurt our 2010 chances. Make the deal. Last February.

  • jm

    Shaq is a panic move. It was a panic move for the Suns and it is a panic move here. The guy can’t run and gun. Sure he had a pretty good year, but he was building up numbers while the team missed the playoffs because HE was killing them. Lebron is fast. He should be able to press the ball. He needs to be able to drive into the lane and create shot opportunities for others. Shaq will hinder that and he can’t play defense.

    Plus, Howard killed Shaq this year.

  • tom

    ron artesrt i want ron artest….i didnt want him last year BUT i want him now…..

  • Kevin

    Danny Ferry doesn’t make panic moves. He’s proven time and again he doesn’t make a trade unless he thinks he is the absolute winner on the deal.

    I think fans are the ones that think the Cavs are gearing up for one team or another. Ferry knows the the Cavs beat the Magic handily if they don’t shoot out of their minds from 3 in that series. You know, kind of like now against the Lakers. Ferry just wants the Cavs to keep getting better and if he thinks getting Shaq for Wallace and Pavs does that, he will make the trade. If not, he won’t, simple as that.

    My opinion? If he can really get Shaq as an expiring deal for Wallace’s corpse and Sasha’s body without a brain, he should get Exec of the year the day after the trade is made.

  • Vic

    I do think that the trade looks good on paper. Dump Big Ben and Sasha, as neither of them are crucial to our roster. Shaq ought to be enough of an improvement over Z that he could still be an impact player, even though he’s in his twilight years. I gotta wonder about the long-term impact here though. I wouldn’t want to be stuck with Shaq if it meant we could have had a YOUNG impact player.
    I don’t know. This seems to be a bit of a knee-jerl reaction to me. I’d like them to sit on this for a while at least and really think about it before making the move.

  • todd friedman

    Agree that this trade should be made…Last season. Now not so sure.

  • steveo

    god can we just once go after a good player when he’s still in his prime?

  • Cbus

    I would say no to this deal. Why you ask, these are the two best trade chips the team has due to the non-gaureented salary for Sasha. Wouldn’t you rather hold on to these pieces and try to make 2 seperate deals instead of just one? This would be a last resort type of deal to me

  • Andrew S

    I don’t think you do it unless absolutely nothing else is available. Do remember that the big reason for Shaq’s resurgence this year was the fact that he didnt play as often or back to back games. I wonder how this would have effected him in the playoffs?

    That being said, he would allow the Cavs to not double Howard every single time he touches the ball, and could force Garnett out of the lane for rebounding purposes. I don’t think he clogs the lane, or that it matters, and LeBron would benefit from having a guy with a winning background. Wallace was supposed to be that guy but never really did much in his short tenure in Cleveland. The other thing I like is that, from a specific Magic standpoing, this would allow Andy to stay on Lewis and not run around. I don’t know if anyone noticed, but Lewis isnt that athletic and doesnt like to drive to the hole. Hes a spot up shooter, and if andy isnt running around helping on D, he could guard Lewis much better.

    The final question is what becomes of Z. Does he take coming off the bench well? Is he even that great of an option coming off the bench?

  • JK

    I say no to Shaq. I didnt like the move in the regular season, and its only worse of an idea now.

  • Denny

    @ Andrew S – true, Shaq didn’t play back-to-back games, but you’ll never have that in the playoffs. And if you make the Finals, the games are 3 days apart.

    At this point I think Z has to realize that he’s probably not going to start. He even linked to the Shaq rumors on his Facebook fan page – I know, that means EVERYTHING!!!!

  • Andrew S

    Z has a facebook page?????? I must find this.

  • Denny

    Z’s facebook page, complete with vanity URL:

  • Ike

    I like the trade but not if it’s the only move the Cavs will or will be able to make before the postseason next year. The Cavs still need a taller wing/backcourt player if they really want to prepare themselves for another encounter with Orlando. Our backcourt, as good as Delonte and Mo are, is just too small. If the Cavs were able to add say a Charlie Villanueva, that would make them instantly better; in my opinion, that would be a best case scenario.

    As far as this deal specifically, if it’s Shaq for Wallace and Pavlovic, I say why not? Wallace is at the end of the rope and provides no offensive threat. Pavlovic has been given numerous opportunities to realize his considerable potential and has yet to cash in. It’s time to move on. And while Shaq may not be the fleetest of foot, even in the pick and roll, he’s a noticeable upgrade from Ilgauskas.