Will Shaquille O'Neal Land in Europe?
Shaquille O'Neal has repeatedly expressed his interest in chasing one more ring before retirement, but the biggest remaining name on the free agency market may desire more than a fifth NBA Championship.
Reports surfaced this morning linking Shaq to a possible move to Europe. Why would the 18-year NBA legend make the trip overseas?
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Diesel" believes he could ink one last $10 million contract if he take his services to the Euroleague.
In the NBA, the highest speculated offer would come from the Cleveland Cavaliers, his team last season, who would most likely offer a single-year deal worth between $5 million and $7 million.
O'Neal had been in talks with 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Champions, the Boston Celtics, but negotiations halted when the C's cap space shrunk to an amount much smaller than the figure Shaq and his management team are asking.
Kwame Brown may fill the role for the Boston, who are looking to add another big man to their front-court rotation.
While there is an outside chance that the NBA's biggest and oldest free agent will land with a Euroleague club, other options seem more reasonable and more likely to happen for the 2000 NBA Most Valuable Player.
If the Cavaliers fail to reach an agreement with the 7'1" center, he could wait for an outside playoff contender, think New Jersey, New York, and Washington, to make a desperation offer that would provide those teams with additional experience and size.
Other than those three teams and Cleveland, very few organizations have leftover cash to sign O'Neal to his desired dollar amount.
If, indeed, Shaq does wind up across the pond, he will join Rasho Nesterovic, who also immigrated from the NBA to the Euroleague during this off-season.
Nesterovic, a member of the Toronto Raptors roster last year, will play for Greek powerhouse Olympiacos Pireaus.
Ultimately, the 38-year old Shaquille O'Neal, who is a 15-time All-Star, will have to truly evaluate his worth an accept an offer in the range of $3 million to $7 million.
It seems nearly impossible that any team, American or European, would be willing to put forth an eight-figure contract, but, as history will tell, no one can ever foresee what the future holds for "The Big Aristotle."
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