Thursday , Jun , 25 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Ferry-Kerr friendship key to Shaquille O’Neal getting traded to Cleveland

Of course, this brings us to the news Shaquille O’Neal has finally been traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. Once again, a link at the executive level made this blockbuster happen. Years ago, Danny Ferry and Steve Kerr were buddies, partners in crime on Gregg Popovich’s bench in San Antonio. They have a past. So it can hardly be a surprise they spent months collaborating on such a massive deal …


Ferry-Kerr friendship key to Shaquille O'Neal getting traded to ClevelandBreaking news mixed with analysis … 

Their News:The Cleveland Cavaliers executed a blockbuster trade Thursday to unite the superstars, acquiring Shaquille O’Neal from the Phoenix Suns in hopes he can help LeBron James deliver this seemingly sports-cursed city its first major pro championship in 45 years. (ESPN.com news services) 

Our Very Quick Analysis: With NBA GMs, friendship matters.

Two summers ago, former Boston Celtic teammates Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale hooked up for the Kevin Garnett sweepstakes. And the Los Angeles Lakers don’t win the 2009 championship unless ex-Memphis suit Jerry West kindly donates Pau Gasol to his old club.

The lesson: relationships rule the league.

Of course, this brings us to the news Shaquille O’Neal has finally been traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic. Once again, a link at the executive level made this blockbuster happen.

Years ago, Danny Ferry and Steve Kerr were buddies, partners in crime on Gregg Popovich’s bench in San Antonio. They have a past. So it can hardly be a surprise they spent months collaborating on such a massive deal.

Yes, months.

At last February’s trade deadline, Ferry and Kerr were talking about a swap, but held off until a later date. The reason: Cleveland didn’t want to tinker with a squad that had posted the league’s best regular season record.  

Everything changed with the loss to Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals. Ferry realized he had to immediately upgrade the pieces around superstar LeBron James to compete next season and re-sign ‘The King’ long-term.      

Enter Kerr, ‘The Diesel’, and Robert Sarver’s financial woes. Ferry dialled up his old buddy and, knowing Phoenix’s cut-costs mentality, offered to again take O’Neal’s 20 million dollar salary off their hands. Look for the stingy Suns to buyout Wallace and pocket the cap space.

If James and O’Neal succeed next season, it will be because of the relationship between Ferry and Kerr.

How important was Ferry and Kerr’s friendship in completing the O’Neal deal? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe the Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of gala us guy.