The Workout Lineup
The news that O’Neal would work out for the Cavs was actually not the leading story.
That’s because, in addition to the Cavaliers, O’Neal is getting a chance to work out for the Los Angeles Lakers.
And while every Lakers workout matters because, well, it’s the Lakers, the fact that O’Neal’s father is a Laker legend added another layer of intrigue.
As for the Cavs, Shareef O’Neal is one of many different players they’ll get eyes on before the draft.
Cleveland is hosting or has already gotten a look at Malaki Branham, TyTy Washington, Tari Eason, and EJ Liddel.
Unlike his father, Shareef O’Neal is not expected to be an all-world NBA star.
Don’t expect junior to be taken first overall by the Magic, like senior was back in 1992.
In fact, there are questions about whether O’Neal will be drafted at all.
According to some projections, O’Neal’s best shot is trying to gain some traction in Summer League, eventually parlaying that into a G-League spot.
But O’Neal was once a four-star recruit out of college–what happened?
O’Neal’s collegiate career was marred by injury.
Initially, O’Neal committed to Arizona to play college ball but changed his decision to suit up for the UCLA Bruins.
His 2018-19 season featured more time spent in the doctor’s office than the hardwood, unfortunately.
A heart issue kept O’Neal from seeing any action for the Bruins that season.
Eventually, O’Neal transferred to his father’s alma mater LSU.
where a foot injury capped his appearances at 24 over two seasons with the Tigers.
It’s tough for Bruins and Tigers fans not to wonder what could have been if O’Neal was 100%.
UCLA fielded two highly competitive teams over the last two seasons, headlined by Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez, Jr.
Had the 6-10 O’Neal been able to suit up, the Bruins would surely have been even better.
While O’Neal almost surely won’t be taken with the no. 14 pick, the Cavs have two second-rounders that O’Neal might be a better fit for.