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CAVS: DEAL NECESSARY TO COMPETE FOR TITLE

The Cavaliers gave LeBron James the help he wants - maybe enough to compete for the ring he craves.

The Cavaliers took part in the biggest trade of deadline day, landing center Ben Wallace and swingman Wally Szczerbiak on Thursday in a three-team deal with Chicago and Seattle.

Wallace provides the Cavs with rebounding, shot blocking and plenty of playoff experience. Szczerbiak's outside shooting could make teams pay for double-teaming James, the NBA's leading scorer who hoped his team could pull off a move.

"When you have a superstar like LeBron James, it's important to be able to put shooters around him," Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said. "When you have guys who make the extra passes, having somebody to knock down that shot is big."

There were four other deals, ending a busy trading season that included earlier deals involving Pau Gasol, Shaquille O'Neal and Jason Kidd.

The Hornets acquired Bonzi Wells and Mike James from the Rockets, adding bench depth. Bobby Jackson went to the Rockets, reuniting with Rick Adelman, his coach in Sacramento. Adam Haluska also went to Houston in the deal, which also included Memphis.

The bolder move was made by the Cavs, who went to the NBA Finals last year but are well behind Boston and Detroit in the East this season.

The Cavaliers sent guard Larry Hughes, forwards Drew Gooden and Cedric Simmons, and guard Shannon Brown to Chicago for Wallace, an inside enforcer, and forward Joe Smith.

Cleveland acquired the sharpshooting Szczerbiak and guard Delonte West from Seattle for forwards Ira Newble and Donyell Marshall. The Sonics got guard Adrian Griffin from the Bulls.

"I didn't think we were good enough to win the championship," Ferry said, explaining the move. "I thought we had a very good team. But I do believe if we have a chance to make ourselves better, we should try. We're going to have to make some decisions that have some risk in them if we want to continue to build."

Wallace was a disappointment after leaving Detroit to sign a $60-million, four-year contract with the Bulls in 2006.

"He was a great teammate," Chicago's Ben Gordon said.

In other Cavs news, guard Daniel Gibson could miss six weeks with a severely sprained left ankle sustained Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Sonics are gaining flexibility to build for the future. Seattle now has 13 picks in the next three drafts and has acquired three players with contracts expiring after this season.

Other deals:

-The Trail Blazers acquired former FSU guard Von Wafer from the Nuggets for rookie guard Taurean Green, a former Gator standout. "We want to thank Taurean Green and wish him all the best for the future, which I think will be a bright one," Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard said.

-The Raptors acquired center Primoz Brezec and cash from the Pistons for guard Juan Dixon.

-The Timberwolves traded swingman Gerald Green to the Rockets for guard Kirk Snyder.

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