Jermaine O’Neal mulls career decision as Warriors keep in touch with veteran free agent

LAS VEGAS – Free agent center Jermaine O’Neal is considering retirement after playing for the Warriors last season, and the team is staying in touch with him in the event he chooses to return for a 19th NBA season.

“I have some career decisions coming up to make and I can’t think of a better place to make them at,” the 35-year-old O’Neal wrote on Instagram on Monday, posting a video of his vacation in the Bahamas.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers is O’Neal’s former agent and could look to bring back the 35-year-old on a one-year contract for around the veteran’s minimum, which is what the team would be able to afford due to salary cap constraints.

O’Neal averaged 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 44 games last season, missing 28 games due to injuries and three games in order to rest. He began the playoffs starting in place of an injured Andrew Bogut and appeared in a Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers despite a bone bruise on his knee.

“That was a difficult for him as you know to leave Dallas and his family,” Myers said of playing last season instead of retiring to his offseason residence. “But I’ve talked to him a couple of times. We keep in touch. He’s still deliberating what he wants to do, and I told him we’d stay in touch as to what we want to do.”

Diamond Leung