After two seasons and less than 50 games in uniform for the C's — 49 to be exact, it appears that the Celtics are parting ways with the six-time NBA All-Star, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
The move won't come as a shock to many Celtics fans, as O'Neal had season-ending wrist surgery late last month. Waiving the 33-year-old center also opens up a roster spot for the Celtics. A spot that is expected to be filled by former first-round pick Sean Williams.
Williams, best known for his three standout seasons at Boston college, had big-time potential when selected 17th overall by the New Jersey Nets in 2007. The 6-foot-10 center has shown flashes of brilliance during his four seasons in the NBA, but has never met the high expectations anticipated coming out of college.
After three-plus seasons with the Nets, Williams spent the bulk of last season playing for the Texas Legends in the NBA Developmental League. He also spent some time with Maccabi Haifa in Israel, during the NBA lockout.
This season Williams played in eight games with the Dallas Mavericks, averaging just 8.1 minutes, 3.6 points and 1.6 rebounds during the stint. For his career, Williams has averaged 4.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.
At 25, there's still plenty of time for Williams to develop into a legitimate NBA player. Maybe with the attention and guidance of Kevin Garnett, his once considered elite shot-blocking skills could be re-discovered and harnessed properly.
In all likelihood, though, Williams is being brought on strictly as an insurance policy for the playoffs and an extra body to eat up minutes in the interim.
During his time in Boston, O'Neal played in 49 games, averaging 5.2 points and 4.5 rebounds. This season, O"Neal had been better on the defensive end, grabbing 5.4 rebounds and blocking 1.7 shots per night.
It's sad that the run had to end like this. But with the shot at a championship run still in the cards, the Celtics need all the bodies they can get.
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