When I woke up Sunday morning, my dad asked me if I was surprised that those Shaq to Cleveland rumors were blowing through the mainstream media again.
Well, no, I kind of wrote about how this Shaq for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic deal should be revisited by both sides after the Cavs were eliminated because it’s a trade that makes tons of sense for both teams.
It just seems like with the somber financial situation the Suns are in as a team that’s not a championship contender as presently constituted, somebody out of the Nash-Amare-Shaq triumvirate will be moved. ESPN’s report of these talks agrees with that line of thinking.
And the Cavs are a team that needs to make a move to win it all next year more so than any team has ever needed to make a move to win it all in NBA history considering the ramifications such a deal could have on everything related to LeBron James not becoming a New York Knick in 2010.
When I first examined this possibility a few weeks ago, I wasn’t exactly sure how a potential Ben Wallace retirement would impact the Suns’ cap.
I assumed that the entirety of Wallace’s $14 mil salary would be coming off the Suns’ books, putting them in a comparatively great cap situation, but apparently the actual contract will still count against the cap for luxury purposes, the Suns just won’t have to pay Wallace those actual dollars.
So it could save a good chunk of change, just not as much as it should when you consider the guy would be freaking retired!
The Suns would also save some major dollars by waiving Pavlovic, who is only guaranteed $1.5 million of his $4.95 salary, saving the Suns $6.9 mil when factoring in the luxury hit. The Suns would save another $3.1 million because they would be taking back less money than Shaq’s cap number plus luxury considerations, for a savings of a cool $10 million off the bat.
In all, even with Wallace counting against the luxury cap, the Suns could save more than $20 million depending on how much they would pay Wallace in a potential buyout situation.
Of course, this only makes sense if Wallace does indeed retire and the Suns do indeed save those extra dollars.
The $10 million saved with the likely Pavlovic buyout isn’t enough of an incentive to also deal for a defensively deteriorating Wallace who would have no role in the Suns’ offense instead of a still useful, yet square-peg-in-round-hole Shaqtus.
The Suns can also take Cleveland’s best offer and see if a team like Dallas or New Orleans that has been interested in the Diesel before wants to better it.
My support of such a deal really shouldn’t be taken as a vote against Shaq. I love Shaq’s personality, and I don’t know what I would do without being able to count on the Big Cactus for an off-beat post every few days.
I just feel like he is the most replaceable player on the court out of the Nash-Amare-Shaq core, and if such a deal allows them to keep the rest of the team intact and maybe add a piece in free agency plus the lotto pick, I say do it.
Some of the offseason scenarios we’ve gone though the past month and a half takes the Suns out of playoff contention this year and gives them a pretty depressing long-term outlook. Such a deal likely strengthens the Suns in the interim considering other deals that won’t have to be made while keeping the summer of 2010 as their determinant for long-term success.
It might be nice to get a bit more, but all the Cavs could really add to sweeten the pot would be a late first-rounder in the near future, and with the way the Suns usually sell off such picks anyway, that likely wouldn’t do much for them.
In short, a Shaq dump like this obviously won’t make the Suns a championship contender, but it keeps them a playoff contender entering next season and possibly gives them a touch of flexibility that they don’t currently enjoy to make another move.
We’re sure to hear a lot about these talks in the next few weeks if it isn’t consummated sooner.
And with any luck, this will be the first NBA blockbuster announced on Twitter.
Kobe can do without him
Blah, blah, blah, the Lakers won the NBA championship, and now Kobe and Derek Fisher have tied Shaq and Tim Duncan among active players with four rings.
With that we learned that Shaq certainly can still laugh at himself after the infamous rap last offseason about how Kobe can’t win without him.
“Congratualtions kobe, u deserve it,” the Big Tweeter tweeted. “You played great. Enjoy it my man enjoy it. And I know what yur sayin rt now ‘Shaq how my ass taste.'”
Shaq went on to compliment a few of his other former teammates and even added a timely, “O yea congrats to u to adam Morrison” tweet.
Yep, we certainly would miss such tweets if he goes to Cleveland, but now that Kobe has finally won that elusive fourth ring without him, you know the Shaqtus has got to be itching to one up Kobe once again.