Rookie power forward Shareef O’Neal, son of Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal, will continue his basketball journey in the NBA G League. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, O’Neal junior has agreed to a deal with Ignite. The 22-year-old player will reportedly play on a six-figure contract.
After being undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft, O’Neal joined the Los Angeles Lakers for an NBA Summer League stint. The LSU product had an encouraging showing, averaging 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 10 minutes per game while impressing with his athleticism and defensive awareness.
There were teams mulling NBA contract offers for O’Neal, including the Lakers, but the player and his representatives decided he was better off in the G League. Here he can continue his development with hopes of breaking into the NBA in a much bigger role than currently offered.
Shareef O’Neal originally committed to UCLA in 2018 but had to sit out his first year of college due to open heart surgery. He returned for the 2019–20 campaign but didn’t make a significant impact and finished the season with only 2.2 points per game.
In early 2020, O’Neal decided to transfer to LSU, his father’s alma mater. He also had a limited role in Lousiana but decided to forgo his final year of eligibility to try his luck in the big league.