2013 NBA Free Agency: Golden State Warriors Agree With Jermaine O’Neal, Praying for Health
Per Marc Stein, the Golden State Warriors have reached an agreement on a one-year contract with veteran forward Jermaine O’Neal, a 16 year NBA veteran.
One-year deal for O’Neal w/Golden State, helping Dubs fortify front line that has also added Marreese Speights to Bogut (and injured Ezeli)
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 9, 2013
O’Neal is an interesting signing, to me. Golden State is a team that has some very young and powerful talent heading into the 2013 season. O’Neal on the other hand is 34 years old and hasn’t played 82 games in a season in his entire career.
In fact, eight out of the last 10 seasons he has played 55 games or less, including three seasons under 30. Having dealt with injuries for the majority of his career, O’Neal isn’t exactly the best option right now for the Warriors. Golden State Better pray he is healthy and stays that way.
Last season with the Phoenix Suns, O’Neal averaged 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just over 18 minutes per game. If the Warriors can get that from O’Neal all season long, that will make this signing a success.
At 34 years old, O’Neal can still provide some depth in the front court. He is a viable option down low on offense and provides the team with a shot-blocker at the other end of the floor. This may be one of O’Neal’s last opportunities to compete for a championship as his career winds down toward the end, and the Warriors aren’t a bad option.
O’Neal had a choice between the Dallas Mavericks and the Warriors, and funny enough, yet another free agent target spurned Mark Cuban and his Mavs. The Warriors will get a solidified backup big man in O’Neal and have a great shot at going even further next year in the playoffs, again assuming he stays healthy.