Jermaine O’Neal was brought to the Warriors to add some depth among their front line, and be a veteran leader on a young team. He proved he had some value in Phoenix last season, as he averaged 8 points and 5 rebounds for the Suns.
O’Neal has played 17 games for the Warriors this season, averaging a little over 6 points and 4 rebounds in 18 minutes per game. Now, the Warriors could be without his services for a while, as he will be out indenfinetly after he has surgery on torn ligaments on his wrist, the team announced on Thursday.
This won’t be that big of a blow for Golden State. Andrew Bogut and David Lee will take up the majority of the minutes down low, and they have Draymond Green, Marreese Speights, and newly acquired Hilton Armstrong to come off the bench. They will miss his toughness and ability to rally the young players in tough moments as the season goes on, though, and you can’t put a true value on that. They really need Andre Iguodala back to get closer to full strength on the court.
This is just another player who left the magical training staff in Phoenix and has missed the majority of their time since they departed. Those trainers are wizards.