Free Agent Frenzy: Centers


Free Agent Frenzy: Centers

Jermaine O'Neal has been a better-than-average NBA player, evident by him being named to six all-star teams.

But at this point in his career, O'Neal can't carry a team the way he did with the Indiana Pacers.

He is the Boston Celtics' only center under contract right now, the kind of distinction neither he nor the Celtics would prefer.

"I can still do some things," O'Neal told this summer. "I feel good, real good; but I'm not getting any younger."

For the C's to have the kind of success on the boards and around the basket, they'll need more than just O'Neal at center. Danny Ainge, the C's president of basketball operations, has made it known the Celtics are desperate need for additional help at many positions, center probably being where the need is greatest.

"Sure, we need size," Ainge said.

If he plans to add some much-needed muscle via free agency, here are some of the players he'll most likely target in the coming days.

Rajon Rondo suspended by Bulls for 'heated exchange'

Rajon Rondo suspended by Bulls for 'heated exchange'

Former Celtics and current Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo is up to his old tricks, apparently.

The Bulls have suspended Rondo for Monday’s game due to conduct detrimental to the team, with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical saying that the suspension is the result of a “heated exchange” the 30-year-old had with a Bulls assistant during or after the team’s 107-82 loss to the Mavericks Saturday. 

Rondo clashing with others is nothing new. He once shattered a television on which the Celtics were showing him game footage to critique him and had to be carried out kicking and screaming by Kevin Garnett. Chris Sheridan reported in 2013 that Doc Rivers had an “intense dislike” for Rondo and that the two almost fought.

After being traded out of Boston, Rondo was suspended for a game by the Mavericks after a shouting match with Rick Carlisle. Last December, he was suspended for calling referee Bill Kennedy a homophobic slur, leading to Kennedy coming out as gay. 

Interestingly enough, there's something of a pattern of Rondo's bigger infractions occuring in games against former teams. The Kennedy incident came in a game against the Celtics, while this recent one was against Dallas. 

This is the first season of a two-year, $28 million Rondo signed with the Bulls in the offseason. He is averaging 8.2 points per game, 7.2 assists per game and 6.7 rebounds a night. 

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