Before the 2011 NBA Season, Jermaine O'Neal was supposed to help the Boston Celtics regain their interior presence and make it back to the NBA Finals. A year and a half later and the oft-injured center could be on the chopping block in Boston.
O'Neal, who has missed a combined 69 of a possible 118 games since signing with the C's, remains out of Doc Rivers lineup with another wrist injury and could very well be looking at surgery once again.
The 33-year-old center has been out since re-injuring his right wrist in a game against the Dallas Mavericks before the All-Star break. Doctors have laid out three options for O'Neal in attempting to heal the wrist, with the 6-foot-11 center either having season-ending surgery, playing with pain and having minor surgery, or getting a cortisone shot to alleviate stress on the hand.
O'Neal, who has averaged five points and 5.4 rebound in 25 games this season, has missed the team's last five games and could be out even longer depending on which recovery option he chooses to take.
If O'Neal does decide to have surgery the Celtics will likely waive him and elect to sign another big man in his place, according to Boston Globe reporter Gary Washburn.
The list of potential replacements could be short and a bit shady, but there are some viable big men available that the Celtics could still sign.