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2011 Celtics Free Agent Report: Shaquille O’Neal

The Celtics need Shaq back! (Getty Images)

We recently learned that Shaquille O’Neal’s mom thinks her son may return for one more NBA season.

Shaq, like Ray Allen, has a player option to return to the Celtics, but unlike Allen, I do not see Shaq returning. Yes, Shaq has said that he wants to play one more year, but the real question is will his knees allow him to play? At 39 years old, Shaq is not getting any younger. Also, the fact that he only played in 37 games this season is a sign that Shaq could have played his last NBA game.

If he does return, it will not cost the Celtics much, just $1.3 million. The thing that could save Shaq is the lockout. The NBA is heading for a lockout that will most likely last into January. If that is the case, Shaq may very well come back because it would provide him the rest he needs. Plus, we’re talking about Shaq; he wants to go out on his terms, which most likely means a big show and fireworks at the Garden.

Probability of return: 40%

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