In full disclosure, I live in the part of Indiana that is very much Bulls/Bears/Cubs/White Sox territory, so I dare not speak like I actually know all the feelings toward now-former Pacer Jermaine O’Neal.
That said, I think it’s fair to say not too many Pacer fans are going to be all torn up that O’Neal has been traded to Toronto for T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and the Raps’ first round pick in tonight’s draft.
It’s been a pretty lukewarm relationship for awhile now. O’Neal, it seems, has been injured more often than not in recent times, and he’s been dissatisfied with the situation in Indianapolis for awhile.
He’s also always going to be associated with a team that never contended with the East’s elite and a group of guys that spent a lot of time tearing up Indy night clubs.
O’Neal wanted to go to a contender, and he got his wish. Albeit a contender in the Eastern Conference so…I’m not sure what that’s really saying.
The Pacers, on the other hand, addressed their need for a point guard and got a draft pick that can turn into a good player eventually. I think it’s a mutually beneficial trade. And a front court of Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal seems pretty good, doesn’t it?