The deal has been agreed to in principle and is expected to be finalized Thursday, according to sources.
The trade gives the Cavs a player they’ve coveted since February. With center Zydrunas Ilgauskas starting to break down, adding Shaq to the roster gives them a dominant force in the middle. The Cavs were obviously unhappy with their ability to defend Dwight Howard in the playoffs and bringing Shaq into the fold should help.
The Cavs felt O’Neal was the better option because he has just one year left on his contract, and will not eat up cap space that will enable them to pursue free agents such as Chris Bosh in next summer’s star-studded free agent class. Chandler, who has had injury problems the past two postseasons, has a player option for $12.7 million in 2010-2011 that he is likely to pick up.