Lakers Linked to Son of Team Legend & Hall of Famer: Report

Shareef O’Neal

Getty Former LSU forward Shareef O’Neal.

It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers like to keep things in the family. Vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka was Kobe Bryant’s agent, new head coach Darvin Ham used to be an assistant and senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis won four championships with the team as a player. One of the few team legends who hasn’t been involved with the team on a coaching or executive level is Shaquille O’Neal.

However, he could have more involvement with the team again as the Lakers are taking a look at his son. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Los Angeles is working out draft prospect Shareef O’Neal.

O’Neal isn’t quite as big as his father but he’s got great size at 6-foot-10. The forward spent four years in college split between UCLA and his father’s alma mater LSU. A heart condition caused him to redshirt his freshman year but he didn’t have problems the following three years. O’Neal was mistakenly listed as a player who had withdrawn from the draft but that wasn’t true. He’s set to compete for an NBA spot for next season.

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O’Neal Draft Profile

O’Neal’s father was a dominant force in college and was the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 1992 NBA Draft out of LSU. The 22-year-old forward won’t get the same hype coming out of college. He averaged 2.6 points a game over his college career and was mainly a bench player. While O’Neal isn’t as exciting a prospect as his father, NBA Draft Room believes he does have athletic ability and could be a solid defender:

O’Neal is a fluid 6-10 athlete who is well coordinated, has good strength and a solid build. He runs the court well and has nice leaping ability, allowing him to make plays above the rim. He’s a high level dunker and has nice touch around the basket. On the defensive end he show’s great timing as a weak-side shot blocker and impressive length and leaping ability.

Needs to play with a more consistent motor and pick up the effort on the defensive end. His feel for the game is about average.

Will O’Neal Get Drafted?

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most popular players in NBA history and remains popular. He was a 15-time All-Star and four-time NBA championship, including three with the Lakers. It would be a great story for Los Angeles to bring in the son of a team legend and have him play in the same arena where his father’s jersey is hanging in the rafters. Despite who his father is, O’Neal is unlikely to be drafted in the upcoming draft.

That’s good news for the Lakers if they like him as they don’t currently have a draft pick. They could entertain bringing in O’Neal as an undrafted free agent and let him compete in Summer League. There’s no harm in giving him a chance and seeing what he can do. He has size and athleticism that you can’t teach.

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