Shaquille O’Neal Traded To Cleveland Cavs

June 25, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Phoenix have traded Shaquille O’Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers to team with LeBron James, while Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic head to the Suns. Sources said the Suns will also receive the 46th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft and $500,000. The deal has been agreed to in principle and is expected to be finalized Thursday, according to ESPN sources.

The Cavs who looked to be bound for the NBA Finals, until getting upset by Orlando, were obviously unhappy with their ability to defend Dwight Howard.  O’Neal averaged 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last season and made his 15th All-Star game but has slowed significantly particularly on the defensive end. I think with O’Neal on the floor it may take some offensive preasure off of LeBron James, but at the same time make it more difficult for him to slash to the basket.

It’s just a one season gamble for the Cavs however, as O’Neal has just one year left on his contract, and will not eat up cap space, which will enable them to pursue free agents such as Chris Bosh in next summer’s star-studded free agent class. Meanwhile this is a cost cutting measure for the Suns, with Ben Wallace, who’s retiring and may accept a buyout, and Sasha Pavlovic, whose salary is only partially guaranteed.


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