View Full Version : Shaq to Cleveland; Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to Phoenix

06-25-2009, 12:50 AM


Deal awaiting final owner approval

Updated: June 25, 2009, 12:44 AM ET
By Chris Broussard
ESPN The Magazine

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns have come to an agreement on a blockbuster trade that sends Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland to team with LeBron James, according to sources.

The deal has been agreed to in principle and is expected to be finalized Thursday, according to sources.

Cleveland will send Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to Phoenix for the future Hall of Famer.

The trade gives the Cavs a player they've coveted since February. With center Zydrunas Ilgauskas starting to break down, adding Shaq to the roster gives them a dominant force in the middle. The Cavs were obviously unhappy with their ability to defend Dwight Howard in the playoffs and bringing Shaq into the fold should help.

For the Suns, the move is a straight salary dump. Pavlovic's $5 million dollar contract next season is only partially guaranteed for the amount of $1.5 million. Factor in the disparities in the contracts between Wallace, Pavlovic and Shaq and the team will save $4.5 million next season. However, when you factor in the savings they'll reap on the luxury tax, it will be closer to $10 million in savings. That savings can be amplified if Wallace decides to retire and the Suns buy him out of his contract for less than the $14 million he's owed next season.

The trade is a pretty strong admission by the Suns that they screwed up when they traded Shawn Marion for Shaq in February of 2007. Marion was a free agent this summer and, had they let him walk, their savings would've been $21 million not the $5.5 million they're saving in this deal.

When the Suns made the trade they had the best record in the Western Conference. This year they finished in the lottery. With Shaq gone, the question is ... are the Suns finally rebuilding?

Sources say that the team would still like to compete. They still have veterans Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Jason Richardson and Leandro Barbosa. They also have the 14th pick in the draft this year and second year player Robin Lopez.

Chris Broussard is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. NBA reporter Chad Ford contributed to this report.

07-09-2009, 07:39 PM
McDyess to the Spurs!!!.... :tt2

07-10-2009, 12:09 AM
Yeah, baby!

Gotta get it this year, I don't Ginobli has more than one more left in him.

Iron Shiek
07-13-2009, 10:07 PM
Not if Ronny Boy has something to say about it thought.

Lakers and Spurs SHOULD be the West Final next season...its gonna be a great season.