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The Mavericks' acquisition of Rajon Rondo did more than bolster their starting lineup. It put them in the lead for unemployed big man Jermaine O'Neal, according to an ESPN report.
O'Neal makes his home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and with the Mavericks trading Brandan Wright to the Celtics, there is an opening for a big man on his local team.
The Warriors and Cavaliers are "among the teams that hoped to be able to talk O'Neal into coming back once the calendar flipped," according to the report, which indicates that they are both now behind the Mavericks.
The Clippers have also been linked to O'Neal, who is expected to make a decision after the holidays.
O'Neal, 36, averaged 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, playing key minutes for the Warriors last year, his 18th season in the NBA.
With the addition of Rondo, the Mavericks boast an All-Star starting lineup that also includes Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler.
Cavs and Warriors also among teams that hoped to be able to talk O'Neal into coming back once the calendar flipped, but Mavs have edge now— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 19, 2014