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The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly confident that they will win the race to acquire veteran center Jermaine O’Neal, according to league sources.
The 36-year-old is working out in preparation for a comeback, and while the Mavs are optimistic about their chances, it is well documented that they will face competition from around the league.
“We’ll let you know when there’s any breaking news, but right now, there’s none,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said Sunday about Dallas’ pursuit of O’Neal.
O’Neal travelled to Germany earlier this month for the same treatment on his knees that he credits for contributing to his success last season with the Golden State Warriors.
Having posted pictures and messages on Instagram hinting at the fact that he will return to the NBA, O’Neal has been busy getting himself in shape over the last few weeks with an eye on joining a team and helping them towards a championship push.
The Portland Trail Blazers are also reportedly involved in the race to sign the player that they drafted out of high school back in 1996, but sources say that the Mavericks have the edge in trying to secure a commitment from the free-agent big man.
O’Neal averaged 7.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 20.1 minutes last season for the Warriors while the 18-year veteran has career averages of 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds.
He would undoubtedly be a welcome addition to the Mavs roster given that they are looking for cover for Tyson Chandler, and coupled with their move for point Rajon Rondo earlier this month, they are looking like a strong unit that will give any team in the West problems in the post-season.