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NBA

Who is Shareer O’Neal and how is it he’s training with the Los Angeles Lakers?

Can he live up to his father’s name? While that’s certainly the cliche question, perhaps the better one is ‘can he make the grade for the NBA?’

Update:
Lakers take a punt on Scottie Pippen Jr. and Shareef O’Neal
Getty Images

It seems that somethings run in the family with the news that the former Lakers legend’s son is now having a session with the team.

Shaquille O’Nea’s son is working out with the Lakers

According to reports, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently working out Shareef O’Neal, who is the son of Hall-of-Famer and team legend Shaquille O’Neal. It should be said that O’Neal has also scheduled visits with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards, but it’s worth noting that he’s now showcasing his skills with the team where his father became legend. With that said, there will be no favors called in for the young prospect with competition for a spot on the Lakers roster expected to exceptionally fierce after a disastrous season.

Who is Shareef O’Neal?

Having started his career with UCLA Shareef O’Neal was considered a top prospect, but sadly fate would have other ideas. After being diagnosed with a heart condition, the up and coming star was forced to undergo an heart operation early on in his career. Subsequent to that he transferred to LSU, which incidentally is the same school his father attended, but unfortunately it would not be without hardship. O’Neal struggled to make an impact even though his potential was clear. In three collegiate seasons, he averaged 2.6 points in 11 minutes per game. At 6′10 more or less, O’Neal lacks the size to be a center in the NBA. Add to that his poor shooting percentage - like his father - having made just 24 of his 50 free throw attempts as a college basketball player and you’ve got a challenging situation.

How does a deal for Shareef O’Neal work for the Lakers?

Where the Lakers are concerned, it should be pointed out that the team doesn’t have a draft pick at the moment. Their first-round pick belongs to the New Orleans Pelicans courtesy of the trade for Anthony Davis and their second-round pick - also lost in the deal - belongs to the San Antonio Spurs. What does that mean? There are two options really: either O’Neal is bought or traded for in exchange for a draft pick or he potentially goes un-drafted, at which point the Lakers pick him up in the Summer League as a complimentary player for their roster. While nobody doubts his potential, it’s clear that the young O’Neal has got some work to do if he’s to establish himself as more than his father’s son. Yet as is always the case, it just takes one chance.

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