Even though, there has been speculation about the three-time Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal joining the Atlanta Hawks, sources say the Hawks have no plans to sign the All-Star Center. With three roster spots open, the Atlanta front office does not want to exceed the luxury-tax threshold of $70.307 million. The Hawks, are about four million shy, and may need to get lesser names for less money. Sources, also said the Hawks shot down the idea of a possible sign and trade with O’Neal for Marvin William.
For now, its only speculation, but seeing how the Hawks spent 120 million dollars on a ageing Joe Johnson, it may seem true. What it comes down to, the Hawks need an inside presence to help Johnson on the offensive end and somebody to try to stop, Dwight Howard and defend the rim against players like D-Wade and Lebron. Even though Shaq was never noted for his defensive play, his presence alone in the lane could have helped.
Shaq may not be what he was in 2003, however he could have still assisted, the underachieving Hawks get to that next level and perform in the playoffs. If this is indeed true we learn one thing, the Hawks are not looking for a high-priced baby-sitter. Let’s hope the Atlanta Front office comes to some sense, and realize that the team on paper is not getting any better to compete with the Eastern Conference. However, this can be O’Neals’ people talking, plotting teams to against each other for Shaq’s help. O’Neal, has been in public battle with his wife, and may need more money then he thought. For Shaq’s sake, this better not backfire Whatever the case is, lets hope the Hawks front office have a back-up plan.