Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trade Center: NBA

The Phoenix Suns trade Shaquille O'Neal to the Cleveland Cavailers for Sasha Pavlovic, Ben Wallace, and the 46th pick in the draft.

Cavaliers: This is a great move by the Cavs all around. Shaq gives them a true force in the middle. He compliments Ilguaskas pretty well, giving Cleveland two quality centers. Shaq may no longer be the most dominate player in the game, but he still creates match-up problems for opposing teams. This move was a direct response to the Magic and Dwight Howard. The Cavs won't lose a series again because they can't match-up inside. Now it will be Howard having trouble handling Cleveland's front court. The Cavs only had to give up two bad contracts and a 2nd round pick, to fill their need inside. Also, with Shaq being a free agent after this season, Cleveland still has plenty of Cap room for the banner 2010 free agent class.

Suns: This move was just about money for the Suns. They will save over $5 million dollars on the deal against their cap, and also will avoid having to pay the luxury tax. Both Pavlovic and Wallace will be off the books after next season (if not before by cutting them), so the Suns will maintain their cap room next year as well. Phoenix really didn't get anything in terms of talent in this deal. With a little luck they can find a role player with the 2nd round pick, to give them some value. Though they still have a strong core, it wouldn't be too surprising to see the Suns start rebuilding. Stoudemire can become a free agent at season's end, and is likely the next to go.

Winner: The Cavs are the hands down winner here. This deal was a no brainer for them. Shaq is still a good center, and they didn't give up any major pieces to acquire him. The Suns sent a bad message to their fan base with this deal. One that will likely signal a rebuilding year in Phoenix.

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