Shaquille O’Neal, The Big Nomad, is picking up his tent and moving again.
A long rumored deal between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns happened right before the draft when the Cavs traded Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, a second round draft pick, and cold hard cash for O’Neal who has one year left on his current contract.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, the regular season champs, were shock and awed when they were unceremoniously run out of the playoffs
by the Orlando Magic, surprising just about everyone in America that cared.
Here’s what this trade means though:
The Suns get rid of a bloated contract (no, that’s not a reference to Shaq), get some marginal players, and most importantly get a draft pick, and cash which is king in this economy.
Shaq never did fit into the Suns style of run and gun basketball. It’s doubtful that Wallace or Pavlovic will ever don a Suns uniform, since they (Suns) are in payroll trimming mode.
The Cavs’ backs are against the wall after planning their victory parade that never came to fruition. Their Coach Of The Year winning coach was rumored to be under the gun, Lebron James has one year left before he can become a free agent, and they are forced to force a championship season. Lebron will be pursued by every team in the league except for the Clippers and Grizzlies.
They either need a championship before Lebron bails, or they need a championship in hopes of convincing James to stay. Either way, they have to have a championship. And this time, no one is going to get all giddy just because they are doing well during the regular season.
The Suns are fortunate that they could wave their hand in front of the Cavs and state “You will take Shaq off our hands” and have it work. Good thing Cavs GM Danny Ferry and Suns GM Steve Kerr played together back in the day. It’s sad that Kerr worked him like that.
The real loser in this deal is the public, NBA fans or not, who will be subjected to “buddy marketing” advertisements and random dance offs like the one pictured.