The rumor mill is busy tonight with a pending Shaquille O’Neal trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs will send Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace to Phoenix for basically two expiring contracts. Shaq resurrected his career last season and wants to win another championship before he retires. He got into great physical shape, thanks for the Phoenix Suns trainers. This trade is great for Cleveland, but is it good for Lebron James?
Cleveland is Lebron’s team from the first day he grabbed a wine-colored jersey. He has been hyped as the “next great player” and a championship would be a given. He has flourished with the talent around him, but never seemed to have enough talent to get him a ring. Lebron has never had a true big man, even though Big Z is a good player, he isn’t much of a physical presence in the paint. Shaq will help Cleveland and probably land Cleveland a championship.
Do you remember the talk about Kobe Bryant won a championship with Shaq and didn’t win one without Shaq until this past season? All the talk on sports radio and with fans never really recognized that Kobe even won any championships, since they were just with Shaq. Will the same argument be made if Lebron wins a championship with Shaq and then struggles the next couple seasons?
The Cavs do need a big man, it’s a no-brainer. The way that Dwight Howard man-handled them and scored at will, even with the offensive post-moves of a toddler. The Cavs need a tall-wing player more than a big man. Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu hurt the Cavs more than Dwight Howard, it’s not even close. The backcourt in Cleveland are short and fast, but not physical. If the Cavs made a trade for Vince Carter or maybe even sign Trevor Ariza. A tall wingman isn’t available in this year’s draft. If Lebron James is Michael Jordan, he needs a Scottie Pippen. It’s going to be hard when you 2nd best guard is Mo Williams, a guy who seems to disappear in big games.
If things go rough the first month of the season, expect Shaq to throw out a couple of Tweets that will bash Lebron or Mike Brown. Shaq is a fun-loving guy, but when he’s on a contender, he tends to be not so light-hearted. You are always gambling when signing Shaq, I’m not saying that he’s like Terrell Owens, but you have to worry a little. The Phoenix Suns training staff is the best in a league and works miracles on guys. If Shaq and Grant Hill play more than 90% of games in a season, you know that they are doing some special. When Shaq leaves the training staff, is he still going to be motivated enough and stay healthy for a full season?
Can a season with Shaq, turn Lebron into a bitter Kobe-like player? If Cleveland wins next season, will Lebron leave and try to win in another city without Shaq? There are so many question marks with this trade. The Cavs are smart and realize that they may only have one season to make a run with Lebron, but I’m wondering if the cons outweigh the pros for Lebron James.