Danny Ainge Upbeat About Shaquille O’Neal’s Impact, Says Another Signing is Possible


Danny Ainge is very optimistic about how the Shaquille O'Neal signing will impact the Celtics, but the team may not be done.

In a Tuesday conference call, Ainge stated that the Celtics could possible add one more piece. While he said that he would be happy to go into training camp with the current roster, another perimeter player, likely for the veteran minimum, would not be out of the question.

Getting Shaq, though, was a priority, as he acknowledged that the team needed rebounders to fill the void left by Kendrick Perkins' injury. He asserted that Los Angeles' rebounding advantage in Game 7 of the NBA Finals was not wholly because of Perkins' absense, and that the team rebounded well throughout the playoffs.

Still, he admitted that the Celtics contacted O'Neal about coming to Boston "right out of the gate" at the start of free agency and that signing Shaq was at times a "roller coaster" of a process.

The others in the organization whom he spoke with about a potential Shaq acquisition were unanimously in support, and the team and O'Neal have an accord on expectations for his role.

With the front line of Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis, Jermaine O'Neal and Shaq, Ainge expects the team to employ the big men interchangeably.

"We have enough shooters and beef in each combination," he said.

He also was high on another Celtics big, Luke Harangody, who came into summer league to prove that he was worthy of a contract.

"A lot of guys don't want to play summer league without contracts," Ainge explained, but Harangody had no such outlook.

As for Perkins, Ainge acknowledged that the Shaq signing "does allow us to be patient with Kendrick"  and that he will have to compete for his job back as he gets healthy.

As for dealing with Rasheed Wallace's contract now that he has retired, Ainge stated that "it's probably going to be resolved soon."

All in all, Ainge provided a voice of optimism, not only with regards to Shaq, but also with regards to the team's prospects as a whole.

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