There was a time Thursday night when radio stations in Atlanta were reporting that radio stations in Cleveland were saying a deal to sign-and-trade Shaquille O’Neal to the Hawks had been agreed to, according to Eric Knappenberger. Meanwhile, up in Cleveland, radio stations were reporting that radio stations in Atlanta were reporting the deal was done.
No it wasn’t. There will be no deal.
The Atlanta Hawks are not going to sign Shaquille O’Neal unless he wants to play for the minimum, a source told Chris Tomasson at FanHouse. And even then they are not sure. Also, Atlanta is not about to sign-and-trade a starter for Shaq or anyone else.
There are about 8 million Shaq rumors in the naked city, and all of them are coming out of the Shaq camp. His people are touting him. I even heard yesterday at Summer League them pushing he wants to get $8 million a year for two years.
Team representatives? They are not interested. Not at that price or anything near it. Nobody is saying they want Shaq. He still has some usefulness as a player, but as a backup big off the bench playing 20 minutes a night tops. But if you sign Shaq you get the media circus that comes with him, and nobody is really eager to bring that circus to their town, to potentially disrupt their locker room, for what Shaq can bring on the court at this point.
He will land somewhere. He will get a job. But he is sort of the new Allen Iverson, teams are leery. So Shaq’s people keep the hype machine going.