Apparently, the Cavaliers were in the mix for Jermaine O'Neal earlier this summer prior to his being traded to Toronto.
As reported by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Brian Windhorst:
Coach Mike Brown said the Cavs considered trading for O'Neal over the summer when Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird basically made his whole team available as he started a makeover.
"He was talked about as were other guys on their team that were talked about for trade possibilities," Brown said. "We couldn't get anything worked out."
The Pacers were looking for a starter-quality center in return for O'Neal, which made it tough to make a deal work for the Cavs. They are not permitted to trade Anderson Varejao without his permission until at least Dec. 5 because of collective bargaining rules because they matched an offer sheet he signed on that date last year. And they were not interested in parting with Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
For Celts fans, it's a good thing this one didn't work out the Cavs' way.
We've speculated before in this space that Toronto could offer a productive change of scenery for JO. Cleveland might well have been even better, particularly if it were a situation that still somehow included Ilgauskas. A good interior defender, O'Neal's addition wouldn't have done much to weaken the Cavs' already stout defense, and he would have added another dimension to the team's scoring attack around LeBron James. His ability to play in the low post and to step to the wings and elbows for jumpers would have made him a nice high-low complement for Ilgauskas and diverted more attention from LBJ. Label me glad this one didn't happen.