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Published: Thursday, 2/21/2008

Cavs acquire Wallace, Szczerbiak in trade with Chicago, Seattle

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND LeBron James finally got some help to win an NBA title.

In a blockbuster, three-way trade involving Cleveland, Chicago, Seattle and including 11 players, the Cavaliers acquired center Ben Wallace from the Bulls and forward Wally Szczerbiak from the SuperSonics, two players to possibly get James and the Cavs through the Eastern Conference and back to the finals.

Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry, unable to finalize major deals in the past, pulled off a colossal one in the final hours before Thursday s 3 p.m. deadline.

The Cavaliers sent guard Larry Hughes, forwards Drew Gooden and Cedric Simmons, and guard Shannon Brown to Chicago for Wallace, one of the game s top inside enforcers, and forward Joe Smith.

Cleveland acquired the sharpshooting Szczerbiak and guard Delonte West from Seattle for forwards Ira Newble and Donyell Marshall.

The Cavaliers also will get Chicago s second-round pick in 2009. The SuperSonics will receive guard Adrian Griffin from the Bulls.

The deal caps a busy month of trades around the NBA as several stars, including Shaquille O Neal, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion and Pau Gasol all were dealt to new teams. The Gasol swap triggered an arms race of sorts among the Western Conference s top squads, while this one could have a big impact at the top of the East.

Plagued by injuries this season, the Cavaliers are nine games behind Detroit in the Central Division and are fourth overall behind Boston, the Pistons and Orlando in the conference standings.

James, who is having an MVP-caliber season, had hoped Ferry could pull the trigger on a deal as the deadline neared. But Cleveland s superstar probably couldn t have imagined such an overhaul.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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