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Where will Shaq land? Not where he wants to.

Jul 21, 2010, 1:36 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for shaq.jpgShaquille O’Neal made $20 million last season. He’s actually made at least that since 2001.

Right now, he can’t get an offer for more than $2 million, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

There were reports of Atlanta offering him the mid-level exception of two years at $5.8 million, but we learned during Summer League that rumor came out of Shaq’s camp, not the team. In fact, if you’ve heard a rumor about Shaq to a team, assume it came out of Shaq’s camp.

Teams are lukewarm on him. Not that he can’t play a little — he is still a big body, shot 56 percent last season and gave the Cavaliers 18 points and 10 boards a game. His PER was 17.9.

There is a role for him on an NBA team, but team’s don’t think he wants to fit in that role. He still wants to be a key player, he wants quality minutes and touches. And more than the veteran minimum money.

It’s what Allen Iverson revisited in a bigger body. Last season he was brought in to Memphis to play a role, but he disrupted the team on and off the court until they bought him out. Philadelphia gave him another chance ad things went worse. Right now, Iverson is getting less interest around the league than Shaq.

Shaq is going to latch on somewhere. Not Miami — remember he burned every bridge in that city (and there are a lot of them) when he left town the first time. Pat Riley was not bringing him back. Especially when they want their new trio of Superfriends to build chemistry and Shaq would have been a disruptive element.

Shaq had wanted to go to Dallas, but they have Brendan Haywood and Tyson Chandler now. Boston got Jermaine O’Neal instead — which should tell you about Shaq’s perceived value around the league.

Atlanta still may take him, but on their terms at their money. Same with a few other teams that may be interested. Shaq the player’s diminished skills are not worth Shaq the personality in many team’s eyes right now. You can argue if you want that image is not deserved, but that is the perception around the league. And perception is reality.

  1. Jim - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    I am assuming the 18 points, 10 boards is per 48 minutes? Because Shaq’s actual numbers were much worse; something like 12 ppg and 6-7 boards.

  2. hnirobert - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    CAN WE PLEASE STOP CALLING THE MIAMI HEAT TRIO THE SUPERFRIENDS? It sounds like some cheesy comic book from the 50’s.

  3. bobbymac - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    i agree how about the fabulous frauds,or the the three little liars,or the three butt buddies

  4. bobbymac - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    i agree how about the fabulous frauds,or the the three little liars,or the three butt buddies

  5. fx1718 - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    The 3 mi-EGOS?

  6. GiantMidget - Jul 21, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Watched every Cavs game last year.. Shaq was basically worthless. They tried to establish him early in the game and threw the ball into him alot, but he just got fouled and flopped his big ass around. Then missed the foul shots, no-one wants this tub of lard, as for the “Superfriends” new name.. the 3tards?

  7. Craig W. - Jul 21, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    How about the Ringwraiths?
    Yeah, us Lord of the Rings geeks are annoying, but this does seem to be a name that symbolizes all of what this is about.

  8. Salty - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    I know what it’s like to get old Shaq. Your brain says that you can do it but your body says no you cant.

  9. Jimsjam33 - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:57 AM

    Shaq deserves a lot of credit for being the NBA’s premier player from 2001 to 2009 , but alas and alack , his time as the best big man in basketball has ended . He is now a back-up center and deserves back-up pay . Which team will take him …it doesn’t matter . He now is a player that has worn out his welcome in several cities and his true value now rests in his past performances and name recognition . Oklahoma City might consider Shaq for a backup role . I must admit that OKC bothered the Lakers big time in the play-offs and maybe Shaq could get the Thunder into the second round next year .

  10. TheOne1 - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    Why don’t player just leave when their time is up? Shaq is my favorite player of all time. I would love to remember him in his prime and a few years after that but to ride the pine and play 10-15 min a game is ridiculous. Retire and enjoy life. It’s time Shaq.

  11. Lion Woods - Jul 22, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Shaq has had a marvelous career. He may have a couple seasons left in him coming off someone’s bench. Detroit needs a big body and I know the Knicks have to be interested. In any event the Shaq show is not marquee anymore and if he wants to lower his asking price I’m sure the offers will be forthcoming.

  12. stiltman - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    The 18-10 was per 36 minutes (at least as basketball-reference.com has it), which is still a little deceptive. The question is whether you think he can actually pull off 36 minutes a game. If he can, then that’s not too bad.
    That said… he’s probably circling the drain at this point. In some ways I’ll always wonder what Shaq could have accomplished if he’d had more of a will to kill in the way that Russell and Jordan did. On the other hand, you could have said this about Kareem, too.

  13. brownie - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    You obviously dont no basketball if you think Shaq didnt play well last year. He did everything that was asked, all Cleveland wanted was 10-12 ppg and 8 rebounds. The year previous, they asked the same and he gave it to them. Shaqhas been consistently a good center and is still in the top 8 centers in the league.

  14. Noleman - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    i agree with Brownie but oh well sometimes this is the way it is with sports… hopefully he will find a good home..

  15. SuperFrenzy - Jul 22, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    And Miami Thrice is better? I think we should refer to them as the 3 Golden Eggs in 1 basket. Until they win the title, it’s gunna be something!

  16. Hugh Jassett - Jul 22, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    If he accepts a lessor role, and is willing to be a 10-15 minute contributor off the bench for the mid-level, he would be one of the hottest comodities left on the free agent market. With 5 fouls to give off the bench, the Lakers could get some solid play from him in a backup role. So could about 27 other teams I could think of. He should try to go back to the Lakers, they would welcome him back as The Big Back Up, and stick his jersey up on the wall when he retires.

  17. Hugh Jassett - Jul 22, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    I am actually warming up to the idea of a SHAQ-UP. If he accepts a lessor role, and is willing to be a 10-15 minute contributor off the bench for the mid-level, why not? With 5 fouls to give off the bench, the Lakers could get some solid play from him in a backup role. Do it Shaq! The Big Back Up? Let’s SHAQ-UP!

  18. Sal - Jul 22, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    Lakers will say NO to Shaq because of the horrible drama that he put the franchise through. Bottom line, if Shaq had a smaller EGO, and a real competitive spirit, him and Kobe would have won at least 2 more rings together. Shaq burned himself out of LA for lacking that championship drive that all the great ones had in wearing the purple and gold; The Logo, Magic, Kareem, and now Kobe. I can see why no Organization wants him, besides Miami, he’s had failed stops in Cleveland and Arizona. As a fan of the Lakers and seeing what he put us through, ( coming to camp way out of shape, taking care of injuries during season time so he can enjoy his Summer, and ultimately dividing the team by badmouthing Kobe and saying that it was his team instead of being a team player.) I for one am happy that reality is finally setting in in the Big Clevelandeer, formerly known as the Big Shaqtus.

  19. c-bird - Jul 22, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    shaq has won every where he has been. 4 rings is proof of that in phoenix amare was out 2nd half of season or they would have made playoffs although no defence team that was not a good fit for shaq and in cleveland he did what they asked of him he can still get 20 and 10 a night at 38 years old,would be a good pick up for boston ,and miami

  20. D - Jul 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    You can’t just casually throw a fake stat out there and not expect anyone to cactch it. 18 and 10…c’mon.

  21. skipper - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:02 PM

    why not shaq to the spurs? half court offense that he would likely fit in better with than a fast pace ATL

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