Options Limited For Jemaine O'Neal and Celtics

I feel for Jermaine O'Neal. I really think all he wants is to play one last season and go out on his own terms. Unfortunately his body is starting to limit his options.

Celtics coach Rivers says he’ll shorten the bench in second half - The Boston Globe

Rivers said center Jermaine O’Neal is still in the decision-making process regarding his left wrist. His choices are season-ending surgery, minor surgery that will mean he has to play with pain, or a cortisone shot. If O’Neal decides to have season-ending surgery, the Celtics could waive him and sign another center

Those aren't great choices for anyone. A healthy Jermaine is better than anyone we can get off the street right now.

Waiving him outright might not be necessary. Obviously the team would like to find a trading partner to bring back some kind of player that could help out now. Still, even if that fails there are options for the team. Tom Ziller of SBNation (and Sactown Royalty) offers this suggestion.

NBA Trade Deadline 2012: Celtics Face Crossroads - SBNation.com

The Celtics are way over the luxury tax threshold at $79 million. In the past, Ainge has unloaded as many "dead weight" contracts as possible, paying portions of the salary to cut the tax bill. Jermaine O'Neal ($6.2 million in tax) seems like the top candidate this go around, and Sacramento could be the partner, just as it has been for the Celtics in recent years.

So the idea is to trade him to a team that can absorb his salary. The team would send over some cash to help pay for the pro-rated amount left on his contract (teams can send up to $3M cash in a trade). The tax savings alone might be worth sending out the cash. I'm sure the Kings would be happy to give us another one of their protected 2nd rounders that we'll never see. And the upside is that we would get a trade exception to use at any time over the next year. Either right at the deadline this year or as part of the rebuilding effort next year.

Not sure if the math all works out, but if Danny can find a dancing partner, it might at least give the team one more option.

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