First of many
The Cavaliers faced the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday in the preseason opener for both teams. Getting one look at the Raptors reminded me that the Cavs were very close to acquiring former Pacers forward/center Jermaine O'Neal in the offseason.
I was told they turned down a possible deal. The Pacers wanted a big man back in return, and one player who fit that bill, Anderson Varejao, was not eligible to be traded until Dec. 5 (the anniversary date of when the Cavs matched the offer sheet).
Varejao could have been dealt if he agreed to go to Indiana. Maybe he didn't.
Cavs coach Mike Brown knew O'Neal very well from their time together in Indiana. He said before the game that O'Neal was a great player.
But observers last summer didn't think O'Neal was the kind of player the Cavs needed. His massive contract was also a major risk. It was one of those trades that was best not made.