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Pacers' O'Neal Here To Stay

Last updated on Thursday, June 5, 2008

(UNDATED) - With 44 million reasons not to, Indiana Pacers forward Jermaine O’Neal has informed the Indiana Pacers that he will not opt out of his current contract to become a free agent.

Representatives for the 29-year-old, 12-year NBA veteran informed Pacers management that he will not opt out of his contract that calls for him to make $44 million dollars over the next two seasons.

O'neal had until June 30 to decide on his option, and could have become a free agent by opting out, but was unlikely to do so since he would not have earned that much in free agency.

O'Neal's status with the Pacers has been in question the past few off-seasons as the Pacers have missed the postseason for two straight seasons while he has dealt with injuries and stated that he is not interested in being involved in a rebuilding process.

O'neal has missed an average of just over 30 games each of the past four seasons, and played in just 42 games last season, his fewest in a pacers uniform. Last season he averaged his second lowest point total and lowest rebounding numbers since joining Indiana in a trade in 2000.

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