How desperate were the Indiana Pacers to unload
The Pacers have agreed in principle to send O'Neal to Toronto in exchange for guard
The Pacers have been actively shopping O'Neal since the start of the regular season. According to NBA front-office sources, Indiana offered O'Neal to virtually every team at the February trading deadline. The response was lukewarm, with teams being scared off by the two years and $44 million remaining on O'Neal's contract.
O'Neal may just be the first domino to fall in Indiana. Sources say Indiana was willing to trade everyone but small forward
With O'Neal out of the picture, the Pacers are now in full rebuilding mode. With Ford and the remaining three years and $25 million of his contract now on board, incumbent point guard
Ford, however, is a risk. An ultra-quick, streaky-shooting point guard, Ford has the talent to be a 30-to-35-minute starter. But Ford missed 13 games with a neck injury last season, the same injury that caused him to miss all of the 2004-2005 season. There is literally the possibility his career could end at any moment.
For Toronto, acquiring O'Neal means that All-Star power forward
The move also frees the Raptors to re-sign
Toronto will be hurt by the loss of forward