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Recently, SI's Britt Robson compiled a list of the worst moves of the NBA off-season. As expected, the perplexing signings of Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay to max-deals appear on the list. However, in Robson's eyes, sharing their company is a move made by the Celtics as well - the signing of Jermaine O'Neal.
"After O'Neal shot 9-of-44 from the field (20.5 percent) and was outplayed by the Celtics' big men in Miami's first-round playoff loss last season, Boston GM Danny Ainge was impressed enough to fork over the full mid-level exception for the 14-year veteran"
I would have to disagree with Robson on the O'Neal move. While Celtics fans may have been hoping to bring in someone that would create a bigger splash than Jermaine O'Neal, he seems to make the most sense for Boston. Despite being a veteran himself, he's a much better option than the aging Brad Miller or Shaquille O'Neal. Also, the starting role he'll begin the 2010-11 season with will only be keeping the spot warm for Perkins' return.

Robson does mention; post-season struggles aside, that O'Neal had a very good regular season. He averaged 13.6 ppg and 6.9 rebounds for the Heat last year, which were his highest totals in 3 years. In addition, O'Neal shot 52.5 percent from the field (the best in his career). The 31 year old Center was battling an ankle injury when he faced Boston in last season's playoffs. A fact Ainge believes excuses his miserable performance in which he averaged a measly 4.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.

Despite this, Robson still believes Ainge and the C's had better options.
"As O'Neal moves to the slag heap side of the team's pile of proud veterans with bad wheels, one wonders why the Celtics didn't make a run at Juwan Howard, or spend the mid-level money on a pair or even trio of playoff-tested vets -- a million or two apiece for Joe Smith, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto -- or maybe even force the Heat to match mid-level money on restricted free agent Joel Anthony, who was better at defending the paint than O'Neal for Miami last season and subsequently re-signed with the Heat for $18 million over five years."
In a recent meeting with the media, Paul Pierce appeared dissatisfied with the team's off-season moves. While he noted that he liked the Jermaine O'Neal signing, he seemed anxious for some bigger moves, saying, "I wish we'd get on the ball a little bit".

In an interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub's DA Show, Celtics President, Rich Gotham, reacted to Pierce's comments and defended Boston's moves. "...He probably doesn't see quite as clearly what Danny sees.." Gotham said. "...Which is you've got certain governing rules being the CBA and we're not able to go out and sign certain players so we had a mid-level exception to use and a veteran minimum to use...What you hope is that when the feeding frenzy's over that there's maybe a few good quality players out there that you can get for the veteran minimum and we've been successful doing that in past seasons so hopefully that'll happen again."

Since signing O'Neal, the Celtics have seen Tony Allen leave for the Grizzlies and Shelden Williams depart for Denver. While they re-signed Nate Robinson to a 2-year, $9 million deal, the team still needs players to back up the aging Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, as well as another big man.







Mike Saver 7/22/2010 01:47:00 AM Edit
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7 Responses so far.

  1. JR says:

    Good post Mike. I read Robson'spiece and he's kind of all over the place. He dogs J. O'Neal, but then spends time talking about how solid his regular season was.

    Regarding Gotham, he has to defend the C's, because he's one of their business guys. As we've mentioned on here via trades there were more ways to improve the team and keep up with the elite teams.

    Again good post and poll.

  2. Karl says:

    I disagree with Robson. If you remember, O'Neal did have a terrible shooting series against us but he was getting easy shots that would usually drop. He also blocked shots and rebounded. Def a solid pick up.

  3. Conquistador says:

    With the way the Celtics (mostly) played in the post season, judging a player by his performance against us in the playoffs may not be too fair. We made some very good players look pretty poor. That being said, I'm not a huge fan of this pick, but I'm always willing to be proven wrong!

  4. Tim says:

    Well we need to move sheeds contract but who would want him lol, maybe the hornets because of the cap room

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think it was actually really important and you're right. The move was very important. If you look at how sheed worked out, the season was mediocre for the team overall and everyone played great in the off-season but at the end little things just caught up to the team and was tough to handle. But, if we have add another very solid player to give good and long minutes during the regular season, it keeps a lot of pressure off of the big 3, who can focus on the playoffs. They don't have to use precious minutes here and there to pull out wins so the record is above 50 wins. We know that the "record doesn't really matter as long as we're in the playoffs" but if we end up at the bottom end side, it'll still put a lot of pressure on the Cs to make wins later on, especially with traveling all over the place.

  6. RoswellSounds says:

    Imagine if we could have gotten Al Jeffersn, Rudy Fernandez or David Lee... TA splitting was really harsh for the bench. Yes, we drafted a (injured) PG who still has to play a game. Marquis? Mmmmm... Nate? Not a problem with that. But the staff needs to let Robinson know hw to execute the fucking plays! You´re a pro, dammit! Act lie one.
    I have confidence in J O´Neal. If he´s willing ton put back his clock a few seasons, and work really hard, he might be able to show sparks of the great player he was not too log ago.

    If everything else goes ashtray, would it be delirious to bring Sheed back? How do you guys see it? It can´t be done, money speaking? If his contract is not picked, and we can´t get a decent C, then what? I was watching the first PO games against orlando yesterday. The things that Sheed did to that inframan! He ate that blob alive!

  7. Anonymous says:

    LMAO What an idiot this author is. Juwan Howard, Joe Smith, and Kurt Thomas are all better moves than Jermaine Oneal?

    Seriously how do people get these jobs as "experts?" What a moron.

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