Jermaine O'Neal openly talked about returning to the Portland Trail Blazers this offseason as a free agent.
O'Neal was a first round pick by the Blazers in the 1996 NBA Draft straight out of high school.
“I'm very open to Portland. They're definitely a team I'm looking forward to having talks with this summer,” O'Neal said. “LaMarcus [Aldridge] and Damian [Lillard] along with [Nicolas] Batum are some great pieces to build around. All they need to do is shore up the bench and add a paint presence on defense and they'll be right there. It's hard to put that type of stress on your starting five and I know I can help ease some of that stress.”
O'Neal played for the Phoenix Suns this past season.
“Portland is a team I have to look at this summer. That city has always been in my heart because one: Mr. [Paul] Allen gave me my opportunity, and two: that city took me in as their second child,” he explained. “I didn't play for two or three years but you couldn't tell. The organization and the fans really allowed me to grow at my own pace. It's a special place to me. I met my wife in Portland. At this point for me, it's all about competing and winning and the Blazers are doing those things.”