Celtics

Ainge plans to meet with O'Neal

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Ainge plans to meet with O'Neal

SAN FRANCISCO The future of Jermaine O'Neal with the Boston Celtics was an uncertain one prior to the trading deadline.

Today?

It's even murkier amid a report that O'Neal, who is out with a wrist injury, wants the Celtics to buy him out of his contract so that he can then join the Miami Heat -- the team he played for prior to signing with the Celtics in the summer of 2010.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, said he plans to meet with O'Neal and his representatives tomorrow afternoon.

"I don't know what's going to come from that meeting," Ainge said.

O'Neal has been out with a wrist injury that could potentially require season-ending surgery. If he elects to return and receives cortisone shots, he would miss a couple of weeks after the treatment.

For the weeks since he left the team, it was believed that he had been out all that time deciding on which course of action was best for him to take.

While out with the injury, the Celtics continued to explore ways to add size and to some extent, move O'Neal.

Currently with a 15-man roster, Ainge will need to find a way to get rid of at least one player, in order to add a much-needed big man.

The easiest way would be to do a buyout of O'Neal, who will become a free agent this summer, or potentially retire from the game. He currently makes 6.2 million.

Boston might also consider doing the same thing with Chris Wilcox, who is out for the season after additional tests on his heart confirmed that he'll need surgery.

If the C's can buy out one or both of them, that would open the door to adding a big man to the roster who can play now.

The Celtics have their eyes set on a number of power forwards and centers, including Chris Kaman in New Orleans.

After failing to trade Kaman, the NBA-owned Hornets may be more willing to buy him out if he's willing to walk way a significant amount of the 14 million he's owed for this season.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE