Shaq getting traded to the Cavs was a rumor that broke in the NBA Finals. Now, Shaq got traded to the Cavs to overshadow the NBA Draft instead. Shaq was traded to the Cavs late last night, as the Cavaliers received Shaquille O’Neal from the Suns, and gave away Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, and the 46’th draft pick to the Suns. Thanks to the Shaq trade, the Cavs are now making news for something other than a playoff collapse again. But is the Shaq trade to the Cavs the move that will get LeBron James his championship and keep him in Cleveland, or a doomed act of desperation?
Despite Shaquille O’Neal losing some of his skills lately, the trade to the Cavs overshadows all of it. Pairing Shaq with LeBron James will do that. The story writes itself, as LeBron, the great new star of today’s era, is paired with the great star of a past era in Shaq.
LeBron and Shaq being together will certainly sell even more merchandise, and make the Cavs even more of a media darling. But will the trade make the Cavaliers champions?
After the Cavs collapse in the playoffs, everyone feared that if LeBron James doesn’t win a championship next year, he will not stay in Cleveland after 2010. Getting Shaq, a proven championship winner, will supposedly give LeBron the help he finally needs.
Shaquille O’Neal did win all of his championships with a hot young star by his side. He won three titles with Kobe, and one with Dwayne Wade. Putting him with LeBron looks like his best shot to get “one for the thumb.”
But the Shaq trade to the Cavs could backfire big time – and if it does, the consequences could be killer for Cleveland. Shaq isn’t the player he used to be, and just getting him alone does not mean LeBron James has all the help he needs.
The Cavs fell apart against the Magic in part because they had no one to defend Dwight Howard. Putting Shaq against Howard could fix that – and the two got into a bit of a rivalry this past season, on and off the court. But Howard seemed to master Shaq this past regular season, forcing Shaq to notoriously flop against him.
So the Magic, at least, still have to be considered a favorite if they face the Cavaliers again next years. The Celtics are still lurking as well, if they can keep the Big Three together and healthy.
If this hyped pairing of LeBron and Shaq fails next year, then that may be the end of it for LeBron in Cleveland. If Shaq can’t deliver for LeBron, it would be an anti-climactic and disappointing end to his legacy.
The benefits of putting Shaq and LeBron together are obvious. But the disaster that could occur if this doesn’t work is just as obvious as well.
East Valley Tribune- “Shaq traded to Cavs for 2 players, pick, cash” www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/140960