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BOSTON (CBS) – A few weeks ago, the options for Jermaine O’Neal and his bad wrist were cortisone shot or surgery.
While no decision has been made, it sounds like O’Neal has intentions of playing again this season.
But for the Celtics? According to a report, that isn’t the case.
As the NBA trade deadline came and went on Thursday, the Celtics stayed put. That included holding on to O’Neal and his expiring contract, which the Celtics were rumored to be shopping around. An even stranger report: Yahoo! Sports saying O’Neal would like a buyout from the Celtics.
Why would he want a buyout? To go play for the Miami Heat.
“I’m actually going to meet with Jermaine (Friday),” Ainge said Thursday night on a conference call about the deadline. “He’s actually working out here and I have an appointment with him (Friday) afternoon. I don’t know what’s going to come from that meeting.”
Read: Now What For Celtics?
What should come from that meeting is Danny graciously declining O’Neal’s request, following by questions as to why he would be able to play for the Heat and not the team he signed a two-year, $12 million deal with.
O’Neal spent a season and a half in Miami, and was one of the main reasons the Celtics had such an easy time in the first round of the playoffs in 2010. Now gentle Jermaine wants skip town to try to get the championship that has alluded him for his 15-year career.
Isn’t that what he came to Boston for, with the Celtics veterans singing his praises to get him here?
Granted, what would O’Neal really bring to Miami? He hasn’t played in a month, can’t stay healthy, and when he was he didn’t bring much to the table. All he provided was a false sense of hope at the center position last season (along with Shaq), giving Ainge the confidence to trade away Kendrick Perkins.
Read: Trade Deadline Live Blog
Chances are the Celtics will buyout O’Neal and try to fill the roster spot with a center that is bought out over the next few days or scourer the D-League for some hopefully overlooked talent.
If that’s the case, let O’Neal go to Miami. With his recent request, he’d fit right in.