Jermaine O’Neal says ‘the time isn’t right for me to play now,’ won’t be signing with Mavericks

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Once the Mavericks included Brandan Wright in the package that netted them Rajon Rondo in trade from the Celtics, they were immediately in the market for a backup big man to play behind Tyson Chandler.

Shortly thereafter, Dallas was reportedly targeting Jermaine O’Neal, who played well in a reserve role for the Warriors last season but is currently an unrestricted free agent.

O’Neal has been working hard to prepare himself for that possibility, but he hasn’t been able to get there physically. He posted an update to his Instagram page stating that he’s done, at least in the immediate future:

I’m not sure if there will ever be another time or not for me and basketball but what I do know at this moment is the time isn’t right for me to play now. But just know I gave everything I had these last 7 weeks and I greatly appreciate each and every one of you guys for the positive words of encouragement thru my process.

That, translates to this.

From Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

With interest from Spurs, Grizzlies and Clippers, rival execs view Mavs as favorites to land Amar’e Stoudemire when he clears waivers.

Stoudemire said to be intrigued with potential role on Mavs, including how he and Dirk Nowitzki would complement each other, source says.

Stoudemire agreed to a buyout of his deal with the Knicks late Sunday night, and is now able to sign anywhere as an unrestricted free agent.

What’s interesting here is that Stoudemire and O’Neal are very different players. O’Neal would have been there more for defensive purposes, whereas Stoudemire has traditionally been much weaker on that end of the floor, though he makes up for it by possessing¬†a much better offensive game than most people realize.