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“Let The Games Begin…”

By MZ / 06.25.09

How do you push USA’s upset of Spain to the back burner? 

Trade Shaq to the Cleveland Cavaliers of course. What started as a rumor in February & picked up immediate steam the second LeBron left the court of the Eastern Conference Finals has now become reality…at least in principle.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns have come to an agreement on a blockbuster trade that sends Shaquille O’Neal to Cleveland to team with LeBron James, according to sources.

The deal has been agreed to in principle and is expected to be finalized Thursday, according to sources.

Cleveland will send Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to Phoenix for the future Hall of Famer. Sources said the Suns will also receive the 46th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft and $500,000.

This is all contingent on both sides finalizing the deal, but is pretty much a lock to go through.  Cleveland is desperately looking to appease King James & Phoenix is looking to dump salary as they come to grips with looking at an upcoming rebuilding project.  Not a bad way to lead up to the draft.

David Stern has to be the only person happier than LeBron as this is the perfect segue into tonight’s draft.  But that’s not the only deal that went down as SportsCenter may be forced to let the MLB highlights fall back for a day.

In a three team deal between the Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs & Detroit Pistons, Richard Jefferson went to the Spurs for Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas. The Spurs’ Fabricio Oberto went to the Detroit Pistons for Amir Johnson, who ended up with Bucks.

The Washington Wizards traded the 5th pick in the draft along with Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. Giving the Timberwolves four first round picks: 5, 6, 18 and 28. Between now and the draft, the Timberwolves will be feverishly trying to work out a package for Memphis’ 2nd pick & Ricky Rubio. The Grizzlies are holding out for both the 5th & 6th pick, but Minnesota is rightfully not giving into that.

The Portland Trail Blazers got the 22nd pick from the Dallas Mavericks for the 24th and 56th picks in this year’s draft, and the worst of their second round picks in 2010.

All of these deals will affect the how the draft plays out where Blake Griffith remains the safe bet for going number one to the frugal Los Angeles Clippers, who will develop then lose him to free agency or being forced to trade him. After that, UConn’s Hasheem Thabeet, Spain’s Ricky Rubio, ASU’s James Harden, Davidson’s Stephen Curry, Memphis’ & Syracuse’s Johnny Flynn will be picked in some order.

Nothing’s guaranteed outside of Griffith and anything is within realm of possibility as teams jockey for position on the draft board. Needless to say the NBA will dominate the sports world today and this is only the beginning.

Shaq To Cavs Deal Awaits Approval [ESPN]


TAGS2009 NBA DraftBlake GriffinCleveland CavaliersHasheem ThabeetLeBron JamesNBA DraftPheonix SunsRicky RubioShaqSMOKE BREAKSPORTSStephen CurrytradeTV/MoviesTyreke EvansVIDEOS

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