Free-agent center Jermaine O’Neal said Wednesday that he expects to sign with one of the three following teams in coming days: Dallas, Denver or Boston.
“Those are my favorites,” O’Neal told ESPN.com “Those are teams that are going to compete [for a championship] next year.”
O’Neal said he’s still deliberating between the three teams — all believed to be offering a portion of the mid-level exception to sign him — and called the decision perhaps “the most important of my career because I know this is kind of my last run at it” in terms of title-chasing.
Jermaine O’Neal creating his own offense is a whole other kettle of fish than JO playing off of others and finishing plays.
When Jermaine does the latter, he is a positive influence offensively.
When he tries or is asked/forced to do the former, he is a huge negative influence offensively. One of the most hurtful players in the league offensively.
Jermaine O’Neal is still a solid to good defensive presence. More a team defender than a one-on-one defender with most of his value coming from his weakside shot blocking.
No longer the defensive standout that he once was though.
Jermaine O’Neal pulled down 14.3% of available rebounds while on the court for a total of 6.9rpg in 28.4mpg (8.8 boards per 36).
Jermaine is a slightly below average rebounder for a center and a mediocre one for a power forward.
Teams Of Interest
There are some reports that say Jermaine is leaning towards Boston and that this is almost a done deal. Likely for a large portion of the MLE.
I think this would be a very bad fit for Boston. In their offense, Jermaine O’Neal will either be asked to create offense out of the low post and/or will get enough semi-opportunities to force his own offense like Glen Davis did for parts of last season. That factor makes Jermaine O’Neal a liability offensively and negates his positive contributions defensively and mediocre contributions rebounding wise.
I would expect Jermaine to be a net negative for the Celtics.
I read a report earlier today in the Dallas Morning News which said Jermaine O’Neal was the Mavs preference over Shaquille O’Neal.
I was surprised by that preference + by their interest in Jermaine to begin with.
Dallas should not sign any more old legs. They should be focused on giving Dirk Nowitzki an athletic big man to play alongside when Brendan Haywood (who they’ll hopefully re-sign) goes to the bench.
The Nuggets are desperate for more big man help.
Jermaine would become their main backup big man or share backup big man minutes with Chris Andersen.
Update — Jermaine Joins Boston
Yahoo Sports reports
Free-agent center Jermaine O’Neal has reached agreement to sign a two-year contract worth about $12 million with the Boston Celtics, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
O’Neal had been deliberating between the Celtics and Denver Nuggets.
Boston needed a center to help fill in for Kendrick Perkins, who is expected to be out five to six months with a severe knee injury. Rasheed Wallace also has indicated he plans to retire.
I don’t like this signing for Boston.
- I don’t like the fit. I think Jermaine will be asked to provide low post scoring and will thus be a substantial negative influence on their offense.
- I expect Jermaine to be a net negative for the C’s