So the Cleveland Cavaliers have reached an agreement with the Phoenix Suns to send Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, and the 46th overall pick for center Shaquille O’Neal, a deal that has been speculated for a good time now.
Already people are saying this trade means an automatic title for LeBron, but they should think twice about a few things.
- Shaq is 37 years old.
- Shaq is injury prone, especially at his age.
- Shaq camps in the paint. LeBron does most of his work in the paint. It is going to be hard for LeBron to penetrate into the lane with a 7-foot-3, 300 pounder right in his way. It hurts the team because LeBron struggles to shoot and there are virtually no other offense threats from outside the paint.
- Shaq wants to be the guy. LeBron wants to be the guy. Not a good mix.
There is no way you can spin this to give the Cavs a positive grade on the court for this trade. With the package of Pavlovic and Wallace, they were suppose to get a player that LeBron would play with for the next 3-5 years, not someone to play with him in the final year of his contract. Now even if he wins this title, he will most likely still leave the city because all that will be left is schmucks like Delonte West and Mo Williams. That when they could have had West/Williams/Jamison and a possibly matured JJ Hickson. That would be more enticing than a quick fix in O’Neal.
For O’Neal, he now has a chance to play with the three greatest wing players of this generation in Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and now LeBron James. If he wins, LeBron, Kobe and Wade will all have the “can’t win without Shaq” label, and I am sure that Shaq will keep that in everyone’s mind. But he can also mull why he has never won a title without a first ballot hall-of-famer at his side.
Cavs land Shaq for Wallace, Pavlovic [Yahoo! Sports]