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Jermaine O’Neal Agrees to Join Suns
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On August 11, 2012 @ 7:53 am In All,Headlines,NBA Headlines | No Comments
In the shadow cast by Superman’s arrival in Los Angeles, the timing of Jermaine O’Neal’s choice to commit to the Suns on Friday was unfortunate as an unrelated move.
Given the caliber of remaining NBA free-agent centers, O’Neal’s commitment to sign a one-year, $1.35 million contract with Phoenix could be fortuitous if — and it’s a huge if — O’Neal can be healthier than he has been for the later half of his 16-year career.
The Suns had only a backup center role and a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract to offer with a franchise that is in transition. The Suns came away with a six-time All-Star who is still only 33 years old because he entered the NBA out of high school.
The caveat is that the years’ wear and tear has cost O’Neal, who appeared in only 61 percent of his teams’ games over the past eight seasons. O’Neal’s past two seasons in Boston were limited to 49 games combined because of knee and wrist surgeries. O’Neal, who is 6 feet 11 and 255 pounds, was averaging 5.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game before his season-ending left wrist injury last season. O’Neal went to Germany this summer to receive the Orthokine treatment on both of his knees. Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez and Grant Hill also have gone to Germany for Orthokine, which takes a patient’s blood and spins it in a centrifuge to make serum that is injected to combat inflammation.
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