Thursday, June 25, 2009

King James Gets A Shaq In His Palace

After helping Penny Hardaway elevate his career and winning championships with Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O'Neal becomes new sidekick for LeBron James after being traded to Cleveland. (Photo courtesy of MSNBC)

It is only a matter of time before speculation finally becomes reality, and the Cleveland Cavaliers proved that today.

After making headlines at the trade deadline for being rumored to acquire Shaquille O'Neal from the Phoenix Suns, the Cavs finally pulled off the blockbuster deal everyone had seen coming for months, as they picked up Shaq from Phoenix in exchange for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. The Suns will also receive a second-round pick in 2010 and cash considerations from Cleveland, who had the NBA's best regular-season record, but were eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals by the Orlando Magic, the team O'Neal began his career with. Orlando lost to another one of Shaq's former teams, the Lakers, in the NBA Finals.

The 37-year-old O'Neal gives LeBron James a reliable scoring option for the first time in his career that now includes an MVP trophy. Shaq has one year left on his contract, and LeBron is already headlining what will be the biggest free agent class in NBA history next year. The hope around Lake Erie is that the two stars can bring the city of Cleveland its first championship in 45 years.

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