It was barely over a month ago we were suggesting that the Denver Nuggets make an effort to sign Jermaine O’Neal, and Wednesday night reports came out that O’Neal wanted to sign with a contender – choosing between the Nuggets and Celtics. The Mavericks were also rumored to be on O’Neal’s list, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reported late Wednesday there was a rumor that O’Neal was leaning towards signing with the Celtics, but the Nuggets were still in the running. Both squads reportedly have offered O’Neal near the mid-level exception for $5.8 million.
If the Nuggets do add O’Neal it would fill a big need to the frontcourt. His length would be a big benefit when the Nuggets matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers. O’Neal, 31, is better skilled offensively than any other Nuggets player and is an underrated defender. O’Neal averaged 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds last season for the Miami Heat, but he disappeared in the playoffs. He scored a mere 4.2 points and 5.6 rebounds when the Heat were knocked out by the Boston Celtics.
While he wouldn’t be the complete answer, he would help the Nuggets, who would probably make another move to add a young big man.
If O’Neal does sign with the Celtics as the reports suggest, there is a strong possibility that former Chicago Bulls center Brad Miller signs with the Nuggets or former Phoenix Suns backup big man Louis Amundson.