There was a time when Jermaine O’Neal was a relevant name. He was one of the top big men in the league going 20 and 10 with regularity. Now, not so much. He’s had lots of knee injuries and really hasn’t done much in the last few years, with the Pacers following suit. Now O’Neal sees the team going in a different direction, and as he told The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio Thursday, he thinks he’ll be traded:
“I really believe if it comes down to them totally rebuilding, I believe that they will move me. That’s pretty much the consensus thought I got from the ownership and management before I left Indianapolis. I don’t think it’s going to come down to a situation where we got to go back and forth, back and forth for me to be moved on, because they’ve just totally rehauled the team. I think if they’re going to rehaul the team, then they will move me, and move me to another team that has a chance of winning a championship. That was one thing that was said to me and really pleased me before I left Indianapolis.”
When O’Neal refers to Indianapolis, he’s talking about a pre-draft meeting with ownership and management. What I did like about O’Neal’s interview is that he made it clear he’s not trying to push his way out of Indianapolis; he says he owes a lot to the organization and knows he has two more years left on his deal. But there you go, that’s at least one big name out there on the blocks, so you can start firing off trade rumors now that involve him. Funny, wasn’t it around this time last year we were talking about him going to the Lakers, possibly for Bynum? My, how things change.