What Might’ve Been: Shaq to Cleveland

by February 20, 2009

by Marcel Mutoni

Trade Deadline Day came and went without anything major going down, but it certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying. Had the front offices in Phoenix and Cleveland been able to work the details out, the NBA could have been a very different-looking place this morning.

For a few hours yesterday, the possibility of LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal joining forces seemed very much frighteningly real, until it wasn’t.

From the Plain Dealer:

Most of the talks today centered around Phoenix center Shaquille O’Neal. It was thought the Cavs were offering Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic, but the Suns were asking for Szczerbiak. The Cavs then tried to find another team to get involved, but couldn’t make anything work.

Szczerbiak said he had been a little bit nervous the last couple days and was reading newspaper and Internet reports. His reaction matched that of the rest of his teammates, who were lighthearted and joking around once the deadline finally came and went.

That would’ve been an interesting trade, to say the least.

Of course, “interesting” and fiscal responsibility — to say nothing of simple logic; why bring in an element like Shaq when you’ve had so much success with your current squad? — have little to do with one another, so GM Danny Ferry wisely pulled his finger off the trigger.