Suns-Cavs Talk Shaq Again

The Arizona Republic is reporting that the Shaq to Cleveland talks might be stirring up again.

The parts of the possible deal remain the same. Phoenix would send O’Neal to Cleveland for veteran power forward Ben Wallace, who is considering retirement, and reserve guard Sasha Pavlovic, whose final contract year is not fully guaranteed.

At first glance, if this is all the Cavs have to give up to get Shaq then the they better pull the trigger. Shaq is way past his prime and has a ton of problems like injuries, going to another team, and his diminishing skills. But he might give the Cavs a chance at three things 1) A chance to win a championship, 2) Get a player that could defend Dwight Howard and 3) Allow Cleveland to push LeBron hard this summer to resign with the team. If the Cavs show LeBron that they are dead serious to do whatever it takes to get him a title then New York will be an after thought. Sure he can go make a ton in New York, but he would have to go through the entire building process again. That is why Kobe and MJ both stayed in their cities.

Now if the Cavs have to give up more than this it would become a different situation. Obviously the Suns would be doing this to just rid themselves of Shaq and save a ton of money. If they want a pick or another player it would be a tough decision to make. Ferry would be investing a ton in this experiment and we saw how well that worked for the Suns. The difference is that the Cavs might only have to give up two players they already want to give up. Playing with LeBron might rejuvenate Shaq, but he could also get injured and be out the season.

The Suns sticking point would obviously be if Ben Wallace is serious about retiring. They would have to negotiate a buyout settlement with him, but I am sure they would want to know this before they make the trade. Here is how it could work for them:

With O’Neal’s $20 million salary (but a $21 million salary-cap number due to a trade kicker), the trade could save the Suns $9.9 million or even more if Wallace wants a buyout. The trade would save the Suns $3.1 million in payroll and projected luxury tax. Cutting Pavlovic, who has $1.5 million guaranteed in his final contract year’s $4.95 million salary, could save another $6.8 million in payroll and tax.

Finally this is the best reason why the Cavs should make this deal. Shaq only has a year left on his current deal. After the 09-10 season Big Z and Shaq both come off the books. There would be a portion of $33 million the Cavs could spend on big name free agents. Even if the Cavs couldn’t resign LeBron his contract would be gone as well. This would basically allow the Cavs to completely rebuild if LeBron bolts or add another young superstar to the Cavs if he stays.

Other Links

  • Cavaliers Trade Rumors: Shaq Headed to CLE? – WFNY
  • Sources: Shaq-to-Cavs talks ongoing – ESPN
  • Rumor: Shaq to Cavs talks back on again – Yahoo!

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Tags: Ben Wallace Cavs Kobe Lebron MJ Rumors Shaq Suns Trade

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