Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shaq comes to Cleveland

Processing this Shaq deal has been tough. I have lots of mixed emotions. But I guess it boils down to this: Danny Ferry just got a Hall of Fame center for nothing.

We can talk about everything else later. But today the Cavs got a big man who can bang for Ben Wallace - who is retiring, Sasha - who the Suns cut and a second round pick that wasn't going to get in the rotation any way.

Now I know the first thought is too little too late. If only the Cavs had made this trade in February, we might be hoisting a banner. Maybe but that deal would have cost a lot more. Yes the Cavs may have over estimated family values back in February but Ferry learned a valuable lesson. Today he upgraded his roster and he did it without sacrificing any talent.

I understand Shaq is no longer the player he was but if LeBron can make Andy Varejao look good what will he do for Shaq. LeBron will find the Big Man the ball. This move also helps Z. Both Shaq and Z can play less minutes in the regular season saving their old bones for the playoffs.

This move does other thing as well. The Cavs tried the "we are family approach" last year. We heard how much everyone loved each but the truth was they didn't get it done. I expect a more mercenary approach this season. Rasheed Wallace, a man Cavs fans love to hate, will be the next big name to join the Wine and Gold. This team next season will not feel like a Cleveland team. It has been weird enough to have one superstar like LeBron, next season I expect will be like a year long Rock tour. There will be bright lights non stop. Having Shaq around I think will also help with the New York media spreading the LeBron is leaving rumors. Shaq will lighten the mood. This past season the Cavs never felt pressure until Orlando. It was a feel good story that hit a brick wall. Next season the pressure will be overwhelming from game one. The just one goal motto has real meaning now. Come next spring, I expect the Cavs to be a completely different team mentally.

Whether LeBron stays or goes, no one in Cleveland can control that. Danny Ferry is at least being pro-active. He is not standing pat. He is not going to just give it the old college try. He is showing LeBron I will do whatever I can go to give you the pieces to win. Shaq is here for one year. He is here to one-up Kobe, get one more ring and ride out into the sunset. After next season, if LeBron stays. Shaq's expiring contract can be turned into another big man in free agency.

But we have months to mash this all out. Bottom line is Danny Ferry got Shaq for nothing. That can't be bad.