Jermaine O’Neal spent the last two seasons wincing in pain, undergoing surgeries and dominating training camp. He reportedly developed such a bad reputation among the Boston Celtics players and coaching staff that they thought he stole money from the organization, believed he was “something of a fraud,” and considered him the team’s least popular player since Vin Baker (an underachieving alcoholic making way too much money during his time in Boston).
So naturally, the Miami Heat — who somehow turned Eddy Curry into an NBA champion before he played a single career postseason game — are interested. They’re also expected to show interest in Ray Allen, who would probably be considerably more helpful than JO. While I think about the two former Celtic free agents, I just want to share out one thought: If O’Neal had bone spurs in his ankle, he probably wouldn’t have played in the playoffs. In fact, he might have put in a request for euthanasia.
Without further ado, Alex Kennedy’s report from HoopsWorld:
Steve Nash, Chris Kaman, Grant Hill, Andre Miller, Ray Allen and Jermaine O’Neal are among the players who Miami could target with their mini mid-level exception, according to sources close to the situation. Those players can likely make more money elsewhere, but may be willing to take less to join the HEAT.
Another option for Miami is Brandon Roy, who will attempt to make an NBA comeback next season after retiring last December. Roy could be a low-risk, high-reward signing for Miami. If he’s healthy, he could be a significant contributor off of the bench. The HEAT can be patient with Roy, working with him throughout the season just as they did with Eddy Curry this year. Sources close to Roy believe he wants to sign with a contender.
Ray Allen will have A LOT of options this summer. JO probably won’t have so many.
And for the love of all that is holy, can we please never mention Brandon Roy and Eddy Curry in the same sentence again?
Curry’s an NBA champion, people. He deserves our utmost respect.