I am shocked by the negative feelings about Shaq on this board. I think this is a great deal for Cleveland.
They gave up nothing of value and got one of the best post presences in the NBA in return. Think about how many assists Lebron is going to get taking the ball to the D and then just tossing it up for The Daddy to finish at the rim?!?! It is going to be unstoppable!
Shaq may not be a mobile defender, but is an in-the-paint space-eater and enforcer, something Cleveland certainly did not have with Ilgauskas.
What's more -- and here is something I bet very few of you have considered -- Shaq has a $20 million expiring contract at the end of next year. One of the things Cleveland needs to have to keep Lebron is enough money to sign another star to play alongside him in next year's fabulous free-agent class. Suddenly, the Cavs are going to have $20 million to spend on Chris Bosh or DWade or someone else to play next to Lebron (then they can re-sign Lebron, after getting the other star under contract). This gives them a ton of flexibility. What's more, if the Shaq pairing with Lebron is not going well, Cleveland will probably find plenty of takers for Shaq in a trade next year because everyone wants an expiring contract!
This is a fabulous deal, in my mind. I see no downside for Cleveland.
--Jason "oh yeah, all the reports are that Bron-bron is thrilled with the deal... and that is issue #1 in Cleveland" Evans