June 14, 2009
According to the Republic, the parts of the possible deal remain the same. Phoenix would send O'Neal to Cleveland for veteran power forward Ben Wallace(notes), who is considering retirement, and reserve guard Sasha Pavlovic(notes), whose final contract year is not fully guaranteed.
With O'Neal's $20 million salary (but a $21 million salary-cap number due to a trade kicker), 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, the Globe reported.
Wallace, 34, also is entering the final year of his deal, which would pay him $14 million. He is coming off an injury-marred season that was his most unproductive in 14 seasons. Wallace would consider a buyout, but Cleveland could use him as a trade chip, particularly to get O'Neal to counter Dwight Howard(notes), whose Orlando Magic ousted the 66-16 Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.
If the Suns acquired and bought out Wallace, they would save more than the $9.9 million that a deal and Pavlovic waiver would save, according to the Republic.