Home > Uncategorized > Suns Deal Shaq to Clear Way for B.J. Mullens

Suns Deal Shaq to Clear Way for B.J. Mullens

LeBron and Shaq! Shaq and LeBron! Oh man!

Oh please.

Those are the two words I said when I first heard about the Shaq-to-LeBronland trade this morning.

This is not the player going to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This is not the player going to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But I get this deal: Cleveland fills a need and brings in a center, and he just happens to be one of the biggest names in the game. Shaq gives the Cavs more offense and defense — basically an upgrade in all facets of that position — than they have had from a center for a while.

He has an expiring contract and may stay in Cleveland for just one year, but Cleveland has certainly upgraded themselves in the middle.

But this is more like an upgrade from a Datsun to a 1991 Honda Civic. I think that there is more value in Shaquille O’Neal’s name than his game these days.

This trade makes members of the media happier than anyone else. I was laughing when I heard Chris Broussard and basketball people of his ilk commenting about how the Cavs wanted to make a splash to help them get past the likes of Dwight Howard and a healthy Kevin Garnett in the Eastern Conference next year.

Now, I’ve been a Shaq supporter for a long, long time. I support the claim that he is certainly in the top 5 of most dominant players in NBA history. But is Shaquille O’Neal in the present, a man who will be 38 in time for next year’s playoffs, really the player the Cavs need to win a championship? He’ll help, sure, but the Cavs still have a lot of work to do. They got beat inside AND outside during their series with the Magic.

But really, there isn’t a whole lot of risk here for Cleveland. At this point next season, O’Neal could be off of the books and the Cavs could be clearing space for Chris Bosh.

Like I said, I understand the deal. I just don’t think it will have the impact to match the fans’ reaction because this is not the same Shaq. It hasn’t been since about 2005.

Granted, the Cavs don’t need O’Neal to rediscover his play from the days in L.A. They already have a go-to scorer and a couple of decent second bananas (Mo Williams, Delonte West). But on a team such as Cleveland, which pays more attention to defense than offense, I don’t think the scoring upgrade to a player such as Shaq will be enough.

Certainly not enough to reach all of this hype I am hearing. Please, people, give it a rest.

Meanwhile, the Suns are obviously rebuilding. They get a draft pick and a couple of expiring contracts, including one belonging to Ben Wallace, who may leave the game for good this summer.

They could also make a big run at a top player in 2010, but for the current, who does Phoenix put at center? It sounds as if Phoenix will trade Amare Stoudemire, so it probably won’t have much beef left in the middle.

Robin Lopez? He’s no Brook Lopez, I’ll tell you that. The Suns could possibly get a decent center out of the Amare deal, but that’s to be seen.

For right now, I can’t help but notice that Phoenix has the 14th pick in tonight’s draft. And that just happens to be around where a lot of mock drafts and “experts” have one-year Ohio State center B.J. Mullens going. For the Suns’ sanity and mine, I sincerely hope they don’t give him that satisfaction.

Follow along tonight as I will be posting a running blog during tonight’s draft. Good times!

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