Well, after sitting on the backburner for 4 months it looks like it might possibly be time for Kerr to pull the trigger on the Shaq to Cleveland trade.
I've grown up in Arizona and I have been a fan of the Suns since the mid-80s. The 1993 Finals is still a painful memory for me (along with the 2005 Super bowl, but that is a different story all together).
While I do like Shaq and he has proven to be a dominating player over the years he is now on the downward slide of his career. He can still prove to be a presence in the paint but he has slowed quite a bit and ended the season with below career numbers in rebounds, blocks, assists and points per game.
As much as I like Shaq, I felt that the trade was a very poor decision for the Suns. Taking on an aging player with frequent injuries for Marion and Banks, not to mention the 2 years and $40 million left on his contract. This was a poor fit for the Sun’s Run-n-Gun play and this was a poor fit for the Sun’s Luxury Tax. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of seeing the big guy in Purple and Orange but I would have preferred to see the Shaq Diesel of 10 years ago.
So, here we are now, the season over for the Suns and Cavaliers and its time for Kerr and Ferry to start looking at what needs to be done for the 2009-10 season. Ferry can pick up a once-dominating center that can still provide some help against the strengthening Eastern Conference and the Suns in turn can get some help towards their salary cap and allow them to begin looking towards the future and the post-Nash era.
It now looks like the trade would be Shaq to Cleveland for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. Wallace is another player I would have loved to have seen in Purple and Orange a couple of years ago, but is now also in the final stages of his career and has even discussed retiring following the loss to the Magic in the playoffs. So, if the trade were to go through Shaq’s $20 million would be gone to Cleveland with Wallace and Pavlovic coming to Phoenix. If Wallace were to retire, his contract would then be bought out leaving only Pavlovic’s $4.9 million on the books. Pavlovic is a bit-player who plays mainly garbage minutes and if was actually let go would only cost the team the $1.5 million guaranteed contract. This could turn an Albatross around the Sun’s neck in to a potential buying spree in the free-agent market.
The free-agent market over the next couple of years is looking really great so it could be an amazing turnaround for the Suns to return back to prominence once again