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Rumor: Warriors and Pacers Spoke about Jermaine O'Neal

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In GSoM friend Tim Kawakami's passionate pitch for the Warriors to make a move for Elton Brand he shared one really important insight on the inside workings of the Warriors:

Everybody paying attention can sense how antsy it's getting around the Warriors' offices-Chris Mullin wants to pull the trigger on something by Thursday's trade deadline, and you know Don Nelson wants to pull the trigger on about a hundred things.

They're both probably accepting the reality that they have to sacrifice some of their future and have to take back some bad contracts if they want to be players this year-and believe me, they want to be players this year very much.

I love hearing that and you know me- I'm all in this year very much. But is forming the Golden State Pacers without Ron Artest going to get the Warriors there? Check out this piece from Mike Wells from The Indianapolis Star:

Any trade conversation involving the Pacers begins with Jermaine O'Neal. The Pacers and O'Neal have been trying to end their eight-year relationship for some time, but O'Neal's health and contract -- two more years, $44 million due after this season -- remain stumbling blocks. O'Neal has been slowed by knee injuries, again, and hasn't played since Jan. 16. He recently started doing on-the-court work, but his return date is not known.

The Pacers are making and listening to calls about him -- again -- but they have yet to find a deal they like. They've recently spoken with Golden State, New Jersey and Sacramento.

When healthy, like Michael- Jermaine's BAD!

GSoM community member Thoang77 also noted in a diary that Ric Bucher mentioned a package revolving around Mickael Pietrus, Al Harrington, Patrick O'Bryant, and the Warriors $10 million trade exception for O'Neal on ESPN on Tuesday night. Use your hops for a few thoughts.

Since he made the leap to the pro's straight out of high school, it really seems like Jermaine O'Neal is pretty old by NBA standards. However, he's only 29 and age-wise in the later half of his prime. If he could ever get his body right again, he might be able to get back to his All-Star and All-NBA form of several years ago. Remember this O'Neal ain't Shaq. He isn't close to retirement and is only 1 year removed from a near 20-10 campaign. There's a good chance Jermaine has plenty left in the tank, but just needs a change of scenery. Hey seeing your buddies Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington get moved for Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, and Ike Diogu will make you do crazy things- the least of which being sitting out games and taking a very precautionary approach to healing up.

Trading for O'Neal and the $44+ million on his contract after this season for two more years is indeed risky. If he continues his streak of missing huge chunks of the season it probably isn't worth it. It's just as risky if not riskier than the Baron Davis trade with the New Orleans Hornets several years back. My guess is that adding O'Neal would prevent Chris Cohan from opening up his wallet for a big offseason extension for Andris Biedrins to,o but if O'Neal returns to his 20-10 and defensive player of the year type form that shouldn't really be a problem. Another big open question is whether Jermaine can play an uptempo game with BD, Jack, Monta, and the rest of the gang under Nellie. Obviously this wasn't as big of an issue when the Warriors brought on Chris Webber for a late winter/ spring rental since it cost very little and he wasn't expected to play big minutes, but that will be a critical factor in whether trading for O'Neal makes any sense. or pays off.

But let's not discount that Jermaine O'Neal could very well be worth the very expensive price tag and trade package. He could solve the Warriors biggest weakness, namely protecting the paint. Jermaine also gives the Warriors a low post scoring threat, though I've never been all that impressed with his dips in FG% and he seems like he'll continue floating out to the perimeter for his offense a la Chris Webber as he ages. For the past 3.5 seasons Jermaine has failed to notch double digit boards, but he's still a very capable rebounder. Pair him up with Biedrins and the Warriors should actually be able to win the battle of the boards more often than not.

Jermaine could get the Warriors to the next level, but it's a very risky gamble. I'm all for rolling the dice and trying to go for it now, but this one really makes you ponder. It's probably going to take a big money package revolving around Al Harrington to get something like this done. Unlike trading for Ron Artest, going for Jermaine is a pretty costly high risk move and the gauranteed rewards seem a lot fuzzier, at least to me.

But I will add that I do enjoy making deals with Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh:

2006-2007 Report Cards:

2005-2006 Report Cards:

Should the Warriors trade for Jermaine O'Neal? Are the Golden State Pacers (O'Neal or Artest) worth bringing back and reuniting like Jodeci?

99% of rumors never happen, but 99% of them are fun to talk about!

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