The Boston Celtics' corps of big men is already in disarray due to a slew of recent injuries, but things could only get worse -- sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that veteran center Jermaine O'Neal wants a buyout.
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Rather than let him go and lose him for nothing, the C's have been looking to deal O'Neal before today's 3 p.m. deadline. One name they've been connected with in recent rumors is New Orleans big man Chris Kaman, but the salary cap math is tricky there -- O'Neal is making $6.2 million this season, and Kaman is over $14 mil. Even if you throw in the $3 million from the injured and expiring Chris Wilcox, it doesn't work.
It would behoove Celtics president Danny Ainge to trade O'Neal as soon as possible, rather than let him walk -- if he were a free man, O'Neal would almost certainly go to Miami and be reunited with Dwyane Wade and Erik Spoelstra on the Heat. Time's ticking for Ainge. The C's exec made a similar deal with an expiring big man last year, trading Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City at the 11th hour. He just might do it again.