Jermaine O’Neal Shouldn’t Play Very Much For Golden State Warriors


Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have had a busy offseason. They had one of the bigger acquisitions this offseason in All-tsar forward Andre Iguodala. Golden State also signed other smaller contracts to fill out the roster.

One of those moves was signing center Jermaine O’Neal. Though he had a somewhat effective year with the Phoenix Suns last season, don’t expect him to get many minutes. If anything, O’Neal is really just an insurance player.

The Warriors already have David Lee, Andrew Bogut, Marreese Speights and Festus Ezeli in their big men rotation. O’Neal shouldn’t get minutes above any of these players. Lee and Bogut are very good starting big men, Speights can replace a lot of what Carl Landry gave them last year, and Ezeli is a promising young center.

The 34-year old center is as at the end of his career, and past the point of being a useful player. Unfortunately, he has dealt with leg injury issues for many years and that has cut his career shorter than what it could have been.

O’Neal still has the ability to score, but is not all that efficient. Besides, for the amount of offense he generates, he gives up much more on defense. He is really slow to rotate and cannot stay in front of anyone defensively.

Bogut has had injury problems the last few years and Lee had a leg injury in last year’s playoffs. Both are supposed to be ready for training camp, but it is nice to have O’Neal there just in case. Nonetheless, if O’Neal is getting minutes, that means something has gone wrong.

Kyle Lopez is a Golden State Warriors writer for Follow him on Twitter @_KL9_, or follow him on Google

Around the Web

  • methuselah46

    You seem blissfully unaware that Festus Ezeli is out for the first half of the season while recovering from knee surgury. O’Neil will get plenty of minutes at backup 5 until Ezeli is fully healthy.

  • Steven Resnick

    Another example of a Rant writer not doing the necessary research, Festus Ezeli had knee surgery in June meaning he’s out 6-9 months, so he’s got a return date of December-March

  • Federico Rocha

    How off base can an article be? Bogut’s a Center and he is not going to log huge minutes so someone has to give him a breather. Everybody else who follows the Warriors knows Ezeli is out for the first half of the year. Even then I expect him to need some time to knock off the rust offensively. Lee is a PF who is not expected to protect the paint. I’ll be interested to see if Speights can bring anything at the 5.

    So to recap, our Center rotation includes
    Bogut (starter)
    Ezeli (out for a while but defensive presence when he returns, offensive liability)
    Oneil (crafty vet who had a good season last year in limited minutes, still brings offense)

    Lee/Speights should not be playing center unless some team wants to try and beat us a small ball.