From the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett:
Jermaine O’Neal will have season-ending surgery on his left wrist.
The 33-year old Boston Celtics center was once considered one of the game’s best big men, but O’Neal, who was drafted out of high school, aged quickly, and has not been a truly effective center for some time, although he has been able to provide size and decent defense in spot minutes over the last few seasons.
This season, O’Neal has averaged just 5 poins per game on 43.3% shooting, but was still thought of as a potentially attractive post-deadline buyout candidate for a team that needed a backup center, namely the Miami Heat. However, the chances of O’Neal actually being bought out were slim to none, and this will officially keep his name out of any further buyout speculation.
The Boston Celtics have officially announced the signing of veteran forward Troy Murphy, who was recently bought out of his contract by the Golden State Warriors. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed by the team.
Murphy was drafted by the Warriors in 2001, and the former Notre Dame star has established himself as a formidable rebounder with a very accurate three-point shot, especially when trailing the break. However, Murphy’s inability to score inside and serious, serious defensive problems have been issues throughout his career, and he has never played for a team that made the playoffs. That is about to change, obviously, but the question is whether or not Murphy will be able to play enough defense to earn minutes in the Celtics’ playoff rotation. If he does, he may well provide the big three or the clutch rebound that helps the Celtics squeak out a close playoff game, and that’s all you can really expect a buyout acquisition to do.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Dallas Mavericks are closing in on a multi-year deal with swingman Corey Brewer, who was recently bought out by the New York Knicks. The deal is expected to be in the “7-8 million range.” According to Stein, Dallas’ ability to pay Brewer more than the Spurs or Celtics would have been able to was a key factor in Brewer’s decision.
Brewer is a high-energy player and solid defender who will help Dallas recover from the loss of Caron Butler, but he will have to improve his scoring efficiency if he wants to justify the contract the Mavericks are about to give him. When Brewer does get to the rim, he can be effective, but his shot selection and jumper have rendered him completely ineffective whenever he ventures outside of the paint. If Brewer can learn to make a short-corner three or move more without the ball so that most of his shots come from the paint, this will be a quality value signing. If not, Brewer could still be useful as a defensive specialist in limited minutes.