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In a day and age where players are now becoming more vocal about where they want to play, the Big Cactus, Big Aristotle, or which ever nickname you prefer, Shaquille O’Neal reportedly wants to join the Boston Celtics.
Tim Povtak, of Fanhouse, initially reported the story Friday.
O’Neal, 38, is entering season his 19th season in the league. Drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992, O’Neal saw the brunt of his success in Los Angeles as he won three NBA Champions, his fourth came way with the Miami Heat.
Now as the future Hall of Famer’s career comes to a close, he is still searching for another NBA title.
There’s no denying that O’Neal is one of the greatest basketball players to ever play this game, however over the last few seasons O’Neal has been more of a liability than an asset. O’Neal has played in 60 games or more just twice since the 2004 season. O’Neal’s production has also began to slide. Last season as the starting center for Cleveland, O’Neal only averaged 23 minutes-per-game along with 12 points and seven rebounds.
It’s a far cry from what used to be for the Newark, NJ native.
From the Celtics point of view, bringing in O’Neal doesn’t make much, if any, sense at all. The club recently signed Jermaine O’Neal, who should see ample playing time while Kendrick Perkins rehabilitates his knee. With the signing of Jermaine O’Neal, the Celtics used their mid-level exception, so in any event, the Celtics either have to sign Shaquille O’Neal to a one-year, $1.35 million dollar deal or acquire his services in a sign-and-trade with the Cavaliers.
As of right now the Celtics are entering next season with just Perkins and 2008 second round pick Semih Erden as the lone centers on the roster. Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett and the other O’Neal are all primary power forwards, but the Celtics seem content with Jermaine O’Neal playing minutes at center. Shaquille O’Neal does bring size to the front court and a willingness to take a lesser role if that’s what the coaching staff calls for.
However, It remains unknown if Shaq would take such a financial hit for another shot at a title. But even if he’s willing, the Celtics don’t exactly seem to be jumping up and down for Shaq’s services.