Jermaine O’Neal Will Not Seek Buyout From Suns

February 21 2013 at 5:52pm CST By Luke Adams

THURSDAY, 5:52pm: Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that O'Neal will not seek a buyout from the Suns and plans to remain in Phoenix for the rest of the season.

WEDNESDAY, 10:37pm: The Suns have agreed to acquire Marcus Morris from the Rockets for a second-round pick, and while Phoenix won't have to send out a player in the deal, the team will have to make a corresponding move to clear a spot for Morris. The Suns had been carrying 15 players, the maximum allowed by NBA rules.

The top candidate to be involved in that second roster move for the Suns is Jermaine O'Neal, whose name has come up in trade rumors. According to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst (via Twitter), rival teams have been expecting the Suns to buy out or release O'Neal if they can't find a taker for him on the trade market.

Since O'Neal is on a one-year, minimum-salary contract, he'd be a fairly attractive trade target for a team in search of inexpensive frontcourt help. With the Suns forced to make a move, a second-round pick would likely be enough to land O'Neal, which Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times notes (via Sulia) that the Lakers could offer.

If the Suns do end up buying out or releasing O'Neal, the Knicks figure to be at the front of the line trying to sign him as a free agent, tweets ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

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