Celtics working on deal to acquire Shaq

Published 3:13 am Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Boston Celtics are making progress on a deal that would bring Shaquille O’Neal to the defending Eastern Conference champions, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke with the AP on the condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final.

Earlier Tuesday, the four-time NBA champion said he will be in the league next season and would rather retire than play internationally.

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The 38-year-old O’Neal spent last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He won three NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and another with the Miami Heat.

But he has struggled to find a contract from a team that can guarantee him playing time, enough money and a chance for one more championship. He has all-but ruled out joining LeBron James in Miami or a return to Orlando, where he began his career in 1992.

The Celtics have been looking for big men because Kendrick Perkins is expected to miss at least half the season with a knee injury he sustained in the NBA finals. Boston has already signed Jermaine O’Neal.