In order to advance his career, Shareef O’Neal, the son of NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille, is said to have signed a six-figure contract to play for the G League Ignite squad.
When he was a junior, O’Neal left LSU to declare for the 2022 NBA Draft, but he was not selected. The Los Angeles Lakers, with whom the senior O’Neal played eight productive years, invited him to participate in Summer League with them.
O’Neal impressed several NBA clubs
The 22-year-old averaged 4.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 10.9 minutes per game during the course of the preseason tournament, and according to The Athletic, O’Neal’s athleticism and background drew the interest of multiple NBA clubs. O’Neal had to travel a difficult path to get here. While he was a student at UCLA in December 2018, he experienced open heart surgery.
O’Neal expressed that his father wanted him to stay in school rather than enter the draft:
“I know he probably doesn’t want me saying this, but sorry. We’re both grown, we’ll get past it,” O’Neal said. “I know he’s an NBA legend. I know he’s my Dad. But it was right in front of me. I had to go get it. So, if he likes it or not, it’s not really going to stop me from doing what I want to do.”
O’Neal was moved to his father’s alma mater after his departure from the Bruins in 2019. However, the problems persisted as he missed the years 2020 and 2021 due to a foot injury. O’Neal enrolled for the Draft despite using the transfer channel after his third season of NCAA basketball, but he will now proceed to showcase his skills in the NBA’s development league.
For a number of basketball players, the G League Ignite squad has offered a solid route to their NBA goals. There were three players picked in the 2022 NBA Draft. With the eighth pick of the competition, the New Orleans Pelicans chose Australian talent, Dyson Daniels, as their top pick.