Jermaine O'Neal not seeking buyout, will stay with Suns

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns will retain center Jermaine O'Neal after it was reported that he could be bought out or traded.

Jermaine O'Neal will remain with the Phoenix Suns after rumors before the trade deadline said he could be bought out or traded. ESPN's Marc Stein reported on Wednesday night that the veteran center could be bought out and signed by the New York Knicks as the Suns made room for the addition of forward Marcus Morris, who they acquired from the Houston Rockets.

Stein reported after the trade deadline Thursday that O'Neal did not seek a buyout.

Phoenix waived rookie big man Luke Zeller earlier on Thursday to complete the trade bringing Morris to the Suns, where he joins twin brother Markieff Morris.

O'Neal will continue as Phoenix's backup center behind Marcin Gortat. Despite balky knees in the past few seasons, O'Neal has showed flashes of his All-Star self in the past few weeks. In the past seven games since returning from a heart issue, O'Neal has averaged 11.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He has three games in a row of grabbed 12 or more rebounds as well.

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