He has great respect for Boston's coach, Doc Rivers, a good relationship with Kevin Garnett, and it was Shaq who gave Paul Pierce his nickname, "The Truth." With starting center,Kendrick Perkins, sidelined for up to six months after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, O'Neal would seem to be a solid replacement.
The Celtics aren't the only team Shaq has interest in however. Broussard reports that Boston may have competition with Atlanta and Dallas for the aging Center's services. Each team is over the salary cap so Shaq would only be able to receive the mid-level exception of $5.8 million/year.
The Celtics are already reportedly pursuing the corpse of Brad Miller so interest in Shaq is not surprsing. O'Neal is 38 years old and a shell of his former self. He averaged 23 minutes per game last season and his slow lumbering self largely helped the Celtics oust the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. He certainly wouldn't help the Celtics get any younger or faster but may be a decent replacement until Perkins comes back.
Ideally, Boston would use the soon to retire Sheed's contract in a trade to get a big man. Which is - according to Doc Rivers - exactly what they intend to do. Chris Tommason of AOL Fanhouse writes:
"'He's trying to help us out by waiting, which is good,' Rivers said of Wallace, due to make $6.32 million next season and $6.79 million in 2011-12. 'He's still our property so we can use that in a trade or something. He's doing a great thing for us.'
While there has been some speculation Wallace might not retire now that Rivers has assured that he will return to the Celtics and star forward Paul Pierce is on the verge of signing a new contract, Rivers said the chances are 'very little or none' the forward will play next season."