Jermaine O'Neal Rumors
April 29 at 10:14am CST By Luke Adams
After a pair of relatively unproductive years in Boston, Jermaine O'Neal bounced back this past season with the Suns, averaging 8.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and a 16.7 PER in 55 games. O'Neal will be a free agent again this summer, and the Trail Blazers are one team he'll definitely be considering, as he tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
"I'm very open to Portland. They're definitely a team I'm
looking forward to having talks with this summer," O'Neal said. "LaMarcus [Aldridge] and Damian [Lillard] along with [Nicolas] Batum are some
great pieces to build around. All they need to do is shore up the bench
and add a paint presence on defense and they'll be right there. It's
hard to put that type of stress on your starting five and I know I can
help ease some of that stress."
It was Portland that drafted O'Neal in the first round of the 1996 draft, taking him as an 18-year-old out of high school. The veteran big man hasn't played for the Blazers since the 1999/2000 season, but he hasn't forgotten the opportunity the franchise gave him.
"That city has always been in my heart because one: Mr.
[Paul] Allen gave me my opportunity, and two: that city took me in as
their second child," O'Neal said. "I didn't play for two or three years
but you couldn't tell. The organization and the fans really allowed me
to grow at my own pace. It's a special place to me. I met my wife in
Portland. At this point for me, it's all about competing and winning and
the Blazers are doing those things."
The Blazers figure to have a decent chunk of cap space to use in free agency this summer, and GM Neil Olshey has talked about trying to sign two or three bench pieces using that room. One area of need for the team is in the middle, so it wouldn't be a surprise if O'Neal's interest in Portland was reciprocated this offseason.
April 12 at 10:19pm CST By Chuck Myron
Marc Stein's final ESPN.com Weekend Dime of the season doubles as his awards ballot, and he has LeBron James winning MVP, of course. More intriguing are his selections in some of the tighter races: George Karl for Coach of the Year, Kevin Martin for Sixth Man of the Year, Tim Duncan for Defensive Player of the Year and Jrue Holiday for Most Improved Player. Stein also has plenty of news from around the league, as we round up:
- Before the season, the Hawks offered Josh Smith a three-year extension for the maximum amount, which would have been about $45MM, but Smith made it clear he wanted to hit free agency. That's no surprise, since an extension would have meant a smaller annual salary than he can sign for as a free agent, per collective bargaining agreement rules. The Hawks, wary of letting Smith walk, aggressively pursued trades, according to Stein, but wound up keeping him when an offer from the Bucks wasn't to their liking.
- Bucks GM John Hammond is publicly heaping praise on coach Jim Boylan, but Stein hears Boylan has little to no shot of retaining the job, based on the team's late-season slump.
- Doug Collins may join the Sixers front office or simply become an adviser to the team if he decides to step away from coaching.
- Justin Holiday's deal with the Sixers includes a team option for next season, and it appears the deal is partially guaranteed for $50K, becoming fully guaranteed if he's not waived by August 15th.
- The Nets also have a team option on Kris Joseph's deal for 2013/14.
- A source insists to Stein that the Jazz will retain Tyrone Corbin for the final year of his contract next season, regardless of whether the team makes the playoffs.
- Jermaine O'Neal, 34, is leaning strongly toward playing again next season. He signed a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Suns last summer.
March 1 at 4:51pm CST By Luke Adams
When I looked earlier this week at teams with open roster spots, only four clubs had more than one opening. Since then, the Celtics have filled their two open spots, leaving the Hornets, Warriors, and Grizzlies as the NBA's only teams carrying just 13 players. Now, the Hornets will find themselves with one fewer player available, as the team announced today that Jason Smith will miss the rest of the season with a torn labrum. As one club that took full advantage of 10-day contracts last season, it may be only a matter of time before New Orleans brings in some young players on 10-day deals to add some roster depth.
Here are a few more Friday updates from around the Western Conference:
- Antawn Jamison turned down a three-year, $11MM offer from the Bobcats to sign for the minimum with the Lakers last offseason, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The veteran forward also has no intention of retiring after this season, as Shelburne tweets. "I don't think this is my last run," Jamison said. "I can still compete with these young guys."
- Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks aren't interested in playing the what-if game when it comes to misses in free agency, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. "In free agency, we can’t always get what we want," Nowitzki said of the team's pursuit of Deron Williams. "It’s not a Wish concert. It didn’t go the way we wanted so we have to
move on as a franchise."
- After a bounceback 2012/13 season with the Suns, Jermaine O'Neal can count on drawing more interest as a free agent this coming summer than he did last year, says Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld.
- In a piece for Grantland, Bill Simmons lists his choices for the NBA's best contracts, and three of his top 15 belong to the Spurs.
February 21 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.
February 21 at 8:42am CST By Luke Adams
The Knicks' front office typically doesn't talk to the media too often, which leaves coach Mike Woodson to discuss the team's plans as the trade deadline approaches. And Woodson has been insisting this week that a deal isn't likely for the Knicks, who the head coach believes can beat the Heat with the current roster. Here's the latest out of New York from Marc Berman of the New York Post:
- One source to Berman, on the Knicks' deadline plans: "They’re not even waiting on anything. It’s pretty safe to
say they’re not making a deal."
- The Knicks are more likely to sign a free agent after they wait to see which players receive buyouts. Jermaine O'Neal is one possibility there, and the team also continues to monitor current free agent Kenyon Martin.
- Contrary to previous reports, Berman says the Knicks have "no interest" in Louis Amundson.
- A source shot down a previously-reported rumor that the Knicks could explore trading Iman Shumpert and Amare Stoudemire for Josh Smith. No surprise there, since the idea of the Hawks taking on Stoudemire's contract was always pretty outrageous.
- There's also no traction on talks with the Magic involving J.J. Redick, says Berman. The Knicks would have needed to include a third team, and weren't interested in giving up Shumpert anyway.
February 21 at 8:17am CST By Luke Adams
With less than six hours until today's trade deadline, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld explores a few of the latest rumors in his NBA AM piece. Here are the highlights:
- Besides Jermaine O'Neal, Sebastian Telfair is another candidate to be a roster casualty once the Suns finalize their acquisition of Marcus Morris, says Kyler. If Phoenix trades either player for virtually nothing, the Grizzlies, who have seven trade exceptions and a need to add a 13th man to their roster, could get involved.
- As they explore J.J. Redick deals, the Magic continue to seek a high-level first-round pick or a package that includes a young player and second-round picks. Several teams have questioned whether it's worth meeting that asking price for what could be a 30-game rental of Redick, according to Kyler.
- If the Lakers make a trade, it's expected to be one that reduces their luxury-tax bill rather than one that drastically changes the roster.
- In addition to shopping Ronnie Brewer, the Knicks have also made Steve Novak available. The duo isn't drawing a whole lot of interest though.
- The Hawks are a potential destination for DeJuan Blair, particularly if Atlanta finalizes a Josh Smith trade.
February 20 at 1:08am CST By Ryan Raroque
Yahoo's Marc J. Spears says (via Twitter) that trade talk has been quiet, as teams are waiting to see what happens with Josh Smith first. One major factor which undeniably has affected discussions around this time has been the looming "repeater tax," which Adrian Wojnarowski tweets is the reason why most teams have been reluctant to take back long-term deals at the deadline. We'll round up the rest of tonight's miscellaneous links below:
- In addressing the biggest issues for the Lakers moving forward, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times puts the chances of Dwight Howard re-signing next season at 25%. If Howard stays, Bresnahan thinks the Lakers could possibly amnesty Pau Gasol. If Dwight chooses to leave, Bresnahan opines that L.A. would likely keep Gasol and amnesty Metta World Peace.
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune directs attention to Luke Ridnour and the Timberwolves' multiple first-round picks as their most attractive pieces in trying to acquire a legitimately-sized shooting guard.
- According to Wojnarowski, the Bobcats have been trying to find takers for Gerald Henderson and are looking for a first-round pick in return.
- John Reid of NOLA.com hears that the Hornets would be interested in trading Eric Gordon to the Warriors in any package that includes Klay Thompson, although Golden State is said to be reluctant in parting ways with the second-year guard right now. Reid notes Gordon has the power to veto any trade, and while he showed a strong interest in signing with Phoenix over the summer, the Hornets are prohibited from dealing him to the Suns.
- With no first-round picks or salary cap space to use, Tim Kawakami of Mercury News believes that the Warriors aren't looking or aren't likely to make a deal soon.
- ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that Derrick Rose appeared good enough to return to in-game action judging by the way he looked during 5-on-5 practice, according to eyewitnesses (Twitter link). On the same token, head coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN Chicago earlier today that Rose might not make his return this season.
- Paul Coro of AZCentral.com says that Sebastian Telfair and Jermaine O'Neal could be sent to title contenders in minor deals, and that Telfair would be the most likely candidate to be moved.
- While there aren't any concrete trade connections between Oklahoma City and the following list of players, Royce Young of Daily Thunder names five reasonable targets for the Thunder: Luc Mbah a Moute, J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour, Darren Collison, and Rodney Stuckey.
February 19 at 7:50pm CST By Ryan Raroque
ESPN's Chris Broussard (via Twitter) says that the Knicks have been showing strong interest in Suns center Jermaine O'Neal. The 34-year-old former All-Star is putting up averages of 6.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and a notable 1.3 BPG in just 16.6 MPG and has been relatively healthy in Phoenix this season.
Such an addition would be welcomed with open arms in New York, where the Knicks have been recently lacking in viable frontcourt depth due to the injuries of Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby. The team has been reportedly considering Louis Amundson and Kenyon Martin as possible reinforcements but have been reluctant thus far to waive a player in order to make room for a free agent signing.
February 18 at 2:09pm CST By Luke Adams
With less than 72 hours remaining until the 2013 trade deadline, let's check in on a few odds and ends from around the NBA....
- Jermaine O'Neal tells Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic that, with his daughter scheduled for March surgery to repair a leaky valve, he hasn't had a chance to think much about trade possibilities. "My focus is to finish my job and what I signed up to do," O'Neal said. "If [the Suns] want to do something to help the team, I’m for it."
- For the last few weeks, we've heard conflicting reports on whether the Jazz are more likely to move Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap, and it sounds like NBA general managers aren't any more certain than we are. "I think they'll trade one of them because they can't keep both," a
rival GM tells Ian Thomsen of SI.com. "But I'm never sure which one will go. One
day I think it's going to be Jefferson, and the next day it will be
- Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett, and Jefferson are among the trade candidates discussed by Sean Deveney in his latest column for The Sporting News.
- Sam Smith of Bulls.com goes through each of the NBA's 30 teams, predicting what they might be up to at the trade deadline.
- In an Insider-only piece, ESPN.com's Kevin Pelton examines whether deadline deals are actually effective, and weighs whether or not a few fringe playoff teams should consider being buyers.
February 1 at 7:49am CST By Sean Highkin
FRIDAY, 7:49am: According to John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR in Phoenix (Twitter link), the Suns have "zero" interest in trading for Smith. Gambadoro adds in a second tweet that the Suns have not even had a conversation with the Hawks about Smith.
THURSDAY, 5:02pm: Having missed out on Rudy Gay and Eric Gordon, the Phoenix Suns are making an effort to trade for Josh Smith, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports. Kennedy writes that the Suns are intent on acquiring a max-level star to make into a cornerstone of their franchise, and have had preliminary discussions with the Hawks regarding possible trade packages.
Kennedy reports that a Suns package would likely be based around center Marcin Gortat, as well some combination of the expiring contracts of Jermaine O'Neal, Wesley Johnson, Shannon Brown, and Sebastian Telfair. Luis Scola could be involved as well, although since he was claimed off amnesty waivers, any deal including him would have to be a sign-and-trade made after July 1. The Suns also own multiple first-round picks, including their own, one from Minnesota, and two they received from the Lakers in last summer's Steve Nash trade.
In the past week, speculation is growing around the league that Smith's tenure with the Hawks may be coming to a close. Executives believe that he does not intend to re-sign with Atlanta this summer, when he will be an unrestricted free agent.