Suns Sign Jermaine O'Neal
Posted: August 15, 2012
The Phoenix Suns have signed 16-year NBA veteran center Jermaine O’Neal, the club announced today.
“We are pleased that Jermaine will continue his successful NBA career in Phoenix,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “We look forward to his contributions not only on the floor but as a veteran leader on our team.”
O’Neal, a 6-11, 255-pound center, is a 16-year NBA veteran who owns career averages of 13.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.87 blocks in 912 games (680 starts) with the Portland Trail Blazers (1996-00), Indiana Pacers (2000-08), Toronto Raptors (2008-09), Miami Heat (2009-10) and Boston Celtics (2010-12). O’Neal is a six-time NBA All-Star, an All-NBA Second Team selection (2004) and two-time All-NBA Third Team pick (2002, 2003). He was also the winner of the NBA’s Most Improved Player award in 2002.
The 33-year-old O’Neal entered the NBA out of Eau Claire High School (South Carolina) as the 17th overall selection of the 1996 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. His most successful professional seasons came as a member of the Indiana Pacers when he was selected to six consecutive NBA All-Star Games and averaged better than 19.0 points and 8.8 rebounds in all six campaigns. O’Neal’s teams have made postseason appearances in 14 of his 16 seasons, and his playoff career includes averages of 12.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in 90 games (69 starts).
O’Neal, who started alongside new Suns forward Michael Beasley while with the 2009-10 Miami Heat, joins a Suns club with one of the league’s most well-regarded training staffs after spending the last two seasons battling injuries that limited him to appearances in 49 total games.
O’Neal makes his offseason home in Las Vegas, Nev., with wife Mesha and the couple’s two children, Jermaine, Jr., and Asjia.
Additionally, the Suns have waived Brad Miller and Jerome Dyson, whose contracts were acquired from the New Orleans Hornets on July 27.
The Suns roster now stands at 13.