Jermaine O'Neal nears a deal with the Boston Celtics

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Thumbnail image for nba_oneal.jpgYou didn’t notice last year because Dwyane Wade mesmerized you, but Jermaine O’Neal had a pretty good year.

Danny Ainge apparently noticed. The Celtics are close to signing O’Neal according to Yahoo Sports.

Of course, there are always other suitors. Denver and Dallas in this case. All three teams who could use some front line depth.

But Boston has to be particularly tempting for any role player — they made it to the finals last year and will have much of the same team back. You’ll get minutes because Doc Rivers has to rest those aging stars during the season. Great, passionate fan base.

Plus, with Kendrick Perkins out the first couple months of the season, you’ll have the chance to really establish yourself.

Of course, it’s always about the money. This is going to take the full mid-level exception (nearly $5.8 million) or more. The years will come into play, as well. O’Neal is 31.

But apparently Boston is close. And this would be a good deal for them.