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Tag:Sasha Pavlovic
Posted on: June 25, 2009 1:00 am
Edited on: June 25, 2009 1:23 am
 

Suns agree to send Shaq to Cavs

Shaquille O'Neal is bringing his Shaqness and four championship rings to Cleveland, which hasn't won a pro sports championship in 45 years.

LeBron, no excuses anymore.

Finally ending a four-month flirtation on the eve of the NBA draft, the Phoenix Suns agreed Wednesday night to send O'Neal to the Cavaliers in exchange for Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, the 46th pick, and cash considerations, a person familiar with the agreement confirmed to CBSSports.com. "Very much agreed to," is how the source described the talks, which have been on and off since the February trade deadline.

So before Kobe Bryant got finished celebrating his first championship without Shaq, LeBron James will begin the pursuit of his first championship with Shaq.

Get the puppet commercials ready. 

 

Posted on: June 24, 2009 10:59 pm
 

Shaq is back

The on-again, off-again trade proposal that would send Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland to do for LeBron James what he did for Kobe Bryant is ... you guessed it ... on again.

The key components have been discussed since the February trade deadline, and you must know them by heart at this point. The Cavs get Shaq, and the Suns get cap relief (not to mention Shaq relief). The cap relief comes in the form of Ben Wallace's $14 million expiring contract -- which could expire sooner than we think if Big Ben was serious about retiring and taking a buyout -- and Sasha Pavlovic, who has only $1.5 million of his $4.9 million for 2009-10 guaranteed.

If essentially the same package has been discussed on and off for four months, what's the problem? Word is that Danny Ferry wants to fully explore what those expiring contracts will yield and will strike when the time is right and it's clear he's gotten the best offer. The Suns, not willing to give up on regaining a spot among the Western Conference elite, want something more than cap relief. Short of future draft picks from the Cavs, the only way to accomplish that is to recruit a third team.




Posted on: June 14, 2009 3:53 pm
 

Shaq to Cavs: Give it some time

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Cavaliers are taking an aggressive posture as they head into the draft and free-agent period, so it was only a matter of time before the Shaquille O'Neal talks heated up again.

Several media outlets began reporting Sunday that the Cavs and Suns have reignited talks about sending Shaq to Cleveland to help LeBron James in his quest for a championship. There wasn't much to reignite in the first place; widely hyped discussions involving O'Neal at the trade deadline were never on the verge of producing a deal. An executive familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com Sunday that the situation hasn't evolved much since then, expressing surprise at the flurry of reports. 

But when you have two teams desperate to move assets -- Phoenix with Shaq's $20 million expiring contract, and Cleveland with Ben Wallace's $14 million expiring contract and Sasha Pavlovic's partially guaranteed deal -- smoke often gives way to fire. Throw in the fact that the Cavs are coming off a debilitating loss to Orlando in the conference finals and an embarrassing week that featured a false report about coach Mike Brown's future, and you can see why the time may be right to shift to focus to the team's pursuit of O'Neal.

The executive involved in the teams' dealings said he fully expects the O'Neal situation to move to the forefront once the clubs begin fully exploring their options in the draft and free agency, which begins next month. The Suns, coming off a 46-win, non-playoff season, are highly motivated to move O'Neal in a bid to avoid paying luxury tax. Acquiring Wallace and Pavlovic, whose $4.9 million contract is only guaranteed for $1.5 million next season, would save Phoenix as much as $10 million, including luxury tax savings.

The Cavs view Pavlovic's partial guarantee and several players on minimum deals as a built-in trade exception they can use to improve the roster and give LeBron the big man he needs to compete for a championship at the highest level. A person familiar with the Cavs' thinking said the team is open to any and all possibilities and plans to take an aggressive approach in retooling a roster that won a league-best 66 games but failed to reach the NBA Finals.

A wild card in the Shaq talks is Wallace, who stated after the playoff loss to the Magic that he was seriously considering retirement. Cavs management has yet to speak directly with Wallace about his intentions, and as of now the club doesn't expect him to walk away from the $14 million left on his deal. If Wallace reiterated his desire to retire, it would spur buyout talks that would free up cap space immediately. Short of that, Wallace would get no money and the $14 million he is owed would come off the Cavs' books.

The idea of Shaq in Cleveland as a running mate for LeBron would present endless storylines and the delicious possibility of Kobe Bryant -- if he returns to the Lakers -- meeting his former and current nemeses in next year's Finals. The marketing people would have a field day adding a Shaq puppet to the popular Kobe & LeBron commercials. Bryant would be presented with the challenge of pursuing his fifth championship against the player he won with -- and feuded with -- in L.A. and the player who is trying to claim Bryant's title as the best player in the game.


It almost sounds too good to be true, except that it's not. Just give it some time.






 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com