Shaq being traded to Cavaliers?Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (AP) -- A potential trade that would send Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland to help LeBron James' title quest reportedly is heating up again.
The Arizona Republic says Phoenix would send O'Neal to Cleveland for veteran power forward Ben Wallace, who is considering retirement, and reserve guard Sasha Pavlovic, whose final contract year is not fully guaranteed.
With O'Neal's $20 million salary, the trade could save the Suns $9.9 million or even more if Wallace wants a buyout.
The trade would save the Suns $3.1 million in payroll and projected luxury tax.
Cutting Pavlovic, who has $1.5 million guaranteed in his final contract year's $4.95 million salary, could save another $6.8 million in payroll and tax.
Trade interest in the 37-year-old O'Neal has been strong after he was an All-NBA third-team selection this season.
He played 75 games, his most in nine seasons, and averaged 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds with a career-best 60.9 field-goal percentage.
There has been trade interest in all four returning Suns starters, but the Suns have stated an intention to keep point guard Steve Nash, who is holding off on extension talks to see how the Suns tweak the roster.