Celtics nab Jermaine O’Neal

The Celtics have agreed to terms with veteran center Jermaine O’Neal, using their full mid-level exception on the six-time All-Star who played the past 1 1/2 seasons with the Miami Heat, according to a team source.

O’Neal earned more than $23 million last season but was willing to take the $5.7 million MLE for a chance to win a title. And it’s good news for Celtics fans hoping their team can compete with the Miami Heat if they manage to sign LeBron James. O’Neal struggled mightily in the playoff series against the Celtics last April, going 9 for 44 from the field and averaging 4.2 points, but when he is playing well, O’Neal remains a solid perimeter player and rebounder.

He will eventually blend time with Kendrick Perkins, who will be out until February with a torn right ACL.


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