Shaq, eh? (NBA Fanhouse)
Veteran free agent center Shaquille O’Neal — the future Hall of Famer without a team — has been lobbying the Boston Celtics aggressively, still trying to convince them that his addition would help their quest to win another NBAchampionship.
He still wants to be The Big Leprechaun.
Although O’Neal was unavailable for comment Friday, two sources close to him confirmed his continued interest in the Celtics, even though they currently have no room, or exceptions, under the salary cap to pay him beyond the NBA veteran’s minimum of $1.35 million.
The Celtics could pay him more, but only if his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, helped with a sign-and-trade deal.
“He only wants to go to a team with a chance to win it all,” one source said. “That’s a short list. Even for the money, he’s not going to a non-contender.”
*Trying to fight off the offseason beer goggles. Trying to fight off the offseason beer goggles.*
Oh, screw it. If the Celtics can get Shaq with the minimum then it’s worth it. Forget that he clogs the middle of the lane. Forget that his pick-and-roll defense can only be described as “epic fail.” Forget that he has crashed and burned in Phoenix and now Cleveland.
The Celtics don’t need Shaq to start. They don’t need him to play 35 minutes a game. They don’t need him to play a starring role. In fact, the C’s biggest problem with adding the Big Diesel would be explaining to him that starting wasn’t going to be his role, that Jermaine would be the starter while Perk’s down and Shaq would be the changeup coming off the bench. But if Shaq can agree to that? If he understands he’s not a starter anymore and wants to take the minimum?
As much criticism as he’s gotten the past few years, Shaq is still a massive man who can score down low and grab boards. And the Celtics need another big man pretty desperately. So desperately, in fact, that I’ve now talked myself into Shaq.
Go get him, Danny. I think there’s a remote possibility that he could potentially, maybe bring something positive to the Parquet.