ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported yesterday morning on Sportscenter that the trade deadline talks involving Shaquille O’Neal to the Cavaliers earlier this season never actually died, and are currently gaining new momentum. While he noted that the deal is not imminent, from all indications former teammates Steve Kerr (Suns GM) and Danny Ferry (Cavaliers GM) appear to be talking about it.
The current Shaq reports now mark the (3rd) major rumor to involve the Cavaliers in the last week. Its not you Chris, we’re just a little skeptical at this point.
First it was a Slam Magazine report at the beginning of the week that said the Cavaliers had recently ‘opened negotiations with free agent Center Rasheed Wallace.’ Then towards the end of the week Pro Basketball News wrote a piece saying that the Cavaliers front office was in ‘disarray’, and that Coach of the Year ‘Mike Brown’s job was in jeopardy.’
However, Cavs beat reporter Brian Windhorst crushed both of those rumors no sooner than they surfaced. He called the possible signing of Rasheed Wallace both impossible and illegal. He then wrote that the reports about Mike Brown’s job being on the line were simply, false.
But Windy hasn’t shut down the Shaq rumors yet, and until I hear otherwise, I am of the opinion that Broussard’s report has legs. It certainly seems plausible.
As mentioned, Danny Ferry and Steve Kerr have a relationship that dates back to their playing days on the Cavaliers together. The Suns are looking to dump salary, and Shaq carries a big number ($20 mil). The players the Cavaliers are reportedly dangling include Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace, and their contract situations fit that motive for Phoenix. Pavlovic’s contract can be bought out for less than $2 mil, and Wallace is hinting at taking his major dollar contract and retiring – possibly accepting a buyout to do so. There is a chance for the Suns saving nearly $10 million dollars with the move.
As a Cavaliers Fan, I am really hoping Windhorst doesn’t stomp this one out like he did the last two. We need this one to be true. I don’t even want to get into how much Shaq would help this team right now…let’s just say – he would help a lot – and see what happens.
* – Shaq photo via Deadspin
JD Shaver is a featured columnist at Midwest Sports Fans who also runs Shaver Sports, where they discuss everything you ever wanted to know about Cleveland sports.
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