The Golden State Warriors have made a number of moves this off-season including the signing of veteran center Jermaine O’Neal who played for the Phoenix Suns during the 2012-2013 season.
Contrary to some beliefs, O’Neal will get consistent minutes off the bench. Festus Ezeli who is entering his second season in the NBA is recovering from knee surgery that he had in June, which will take anywhere from six-to-nine months to rehab from. Another reason O’Neal will get minutes is due to the injury of history of Andrew Bogut who has missed a total of 120 games the past two seasons and in the 32 games he played in last season averaged 24.6 minutes per contest.
While Bogut will enter the 2013-2014 season healthy it wouldn’t be surprising to see Mark Jackson give him at most 32-35 minutes per night. The 13-16 minutes then will go to O’Neal who had his best season since 2009-2010 averaging 8.3 points, 5,3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks on 48.2 percent shooting and 83.5 percent from the free throw line in 55 games including four starts. In his career he’s averaged 13.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.8 blocks, on 46.6 percent shooting and 71.3 percent from the free throw line.
One concern that he has dealt with injuries of his own over the past several seasons as well, yet if he can stay healthy he becomes a key member off the bench even when Ezeli gets back from injury and can step into a starting role if Bogut needs rest or misses time due to injury.