When he was on the court last season Jermaine O’Neal played well — he was a key scorer inside for the second unit averaging 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds a game in 20.1 minutes on those nights. He had a PER of 15.3, a solid number right at the league average. However, he got in just 44 games (starting 13) primarily due to a ligament injury in his left wrist.
Injuries limiting his minutes has been the story for O’Neal for years now (55 games was the most he has played in a season in the last four).
Does he want to put his body through the NBA season grind for a 19th season? He was one of the most outspoken players after Mark Jackson was let go as coach, does he want to go through it all for Steve Kerr? He hasn’t yet decided reports Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Warriors certainly could use him for depth at the 4/5, but they don’t need him. They have added quality depth up front. They have Festus Ezeli at the five behind Andrew Bogut (although Bogut has an injury history and Ezeli is coming off knee surgery and may be limited at the start of camp). The Warriors also have Draymond Green behind David Lee at the four plus Marreese Speights off the bench up front.
O’Neal would certainly fit in that group and would add another option for new coach Kerr.
The question is, does O’Neal want to put his body and mind through it all one more time? Doesn’t sound like he knows the answer yet.