Shaq Coming to Cleveland

In a great move for the Cleveland Cavaliers they acquired aging center Shaquille O’Neal from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for a salary dump of Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic.  To me, pulling the trigger on this trade was a no-brainer for Cavs GM Danny Ferry.  Wallace and Pavlovic aren’t really helpful (indeed I have heard that B-Wall might retire).  There is the chance that Shaq proves to be over-the-hill and/or injury riddled and unable to help.  In that event, the Cavs are still no worse off.  Then again, Shaq could be useful at times, or he could even prove to be rejuvenated and be a great help.

It was made apparent during the Eastern Conference Finals that the Cavs lacked a strong presence in the low post defensively, and they also had zilch in terms of post offense.  Shaq can potentially fill that void.  If nothing else, Shaq can get some open throw downs when half of the defense collapses around a penetrating Lebron.  It strikes me that Shaq and Lebron could be a marriage that works not unlike Kareem and Magic for the Showtime Lakers, a superstar 2-guard/everyman and an aging all-time great center.  Obviously, that is what the Cavs are hoping for, and that moves like this dissuade any doubts Lebron would have about staying in Cleveland when he hits free agency.

Obviously, there could be unknown unknowns to change the equation, but it certainly looks like the Eastern Conference will be the Big 3 and little everyone else next season.  The Celtics should be getting Garnett back, Orlando just traded for Vince Carter (tho they might fail to keep Torkuglu) and of course the Cavs.  Should make for an entertaining May.

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