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Mavericks will no longer target Jermaine O'Neal, per report

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Dallas has shifted all of its focus on Amar'e Stoudemire after O'Neal's health failed to improve.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks will end their pursuit of free agent big man Jermaine O'Neal, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

O'Neal had been targeted since the Rajon Rondo trade in December, but the big man has struggled to recovery from a knee injury suffered in the playoffs last year, per ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon. Dallas had essentially been at O'Neal's mercy since the trade, needing front court help and lacking any other viable options. However, with news of Amar'e Stoudemire's buy out from New York breaking on Sunday, the Mavericks now have an alternative and are reportedly favorites to sign Stoudemire when he clears waivers on Wednesday.

Even earlier on Monday, the Mavericks planned to sign both. However, with O'Neal's inability to get into game shape, it makes sense to stick with Stoudemire. Dallas also saw encouraging signs from Bernard James, who was signed to a 10 day contract last week and responded with a nine points, three rebounds and three blocks.

Meanwhile, Stoudemire is a natural fit with the Mavericks. The pick-and-roll master of Phoenix is long gone, but Stoudemire isn't as broken down as he looked in years past, either. He's a 6-foot-11 big man who can play behind Tyson Chandler or Dirk, while even filling in for a few of Brandan Wright's alley oops.

As for O'Neal, it's a shame. He was in a playoff rotation last year and probably could have helped the Mavericks more than some people have suggested if he was healthy. The Mavericks definitely didn't need a limited O'Neal, though, and this is likely for the best.

Here are two Instagrams O'Neal posted on Monday, with the captions quoted:

Part 1.
For the people that knows me know that I'm not a huge social media guy but I do use it when I need to express my feelings about something or about certain parts of my life. So saying that, I want to first thank every family member, friend, and fan that has showed me sooooo much love and support the last 7 weeks thru my process of trying to see if I could get thru a very difficult period of getting my mind and body in shape in a very short period of time. I also want to thank all the teams that have showed so much interest and patients with me thru this process. When I decided in late December to look at the option on playing again I knew it was probably going to be one of my greatest challenges considering that I hadn't done any basketball training in the previous 5 months. But I was fully committed to taking on the challenge by investing a lot of time to traveling abroad to get the process started and dedicating my life to training multiple times a day for 7 weeks. Ive learned a lot thru this process from a physical set back, to reconnecting with something that I loved for such a big part of my life, to being incredibly sore everyday but still pushing forward, but most importantly feeling if I was doing the right thing by my family by trying to go back to playing basketball and sacrificing more of their time with me. So as you can imagine it was a very emotional time lol. But the best part of this process was walking out of the gym after every workout knowing that I could still play the game after 18 long years and hearing the teams that seen me workout all agreeing with that statement. Every team that wanted me to sign are all championship contending teams and in order to except their offer i need to be 100% ready to go physically and mentally from the time that I sign that contract with no room for error beyond that point. I don't feel like I'm at that position now with just 7 weeks of training and I'm not comfortable making that commitment at this point. The issue for me is timing and things feeling right. I'm a true believer of signs and listening and understanding life.

Part 2: I'm not sure if there will ever be another time or not for me and basketball but what I do know at this moment is the time isn't right for me to play now. But just know I gave everything I had these last 7 weeks and I greatly appreciate each and every one of you guys for the positive words of encouragement thru my process......

Part 1. For the people that knows me know that I'm not a huge social media guy but I do use it when I need to express my feelings about something or about certain parts of my life. So saying that, I want to first thank every family member, friend, and fan that has showed me sooooo much love and support the last 7 weeks thru my process of trying to see if I could get thru a very difficult period of getting my mind and body in shape in a very short period of time. I also want to thank all the teams that have showed so much interest and patients with me thru this process. When I decided in late December to look at the option on playing again I knew it was probably going to be one of my greatest challenges considering that I hadn't done any basketball training in the previous 5 months. But I was fully committed to taking on the challenge by investing a lot of time to traveling abroad to get the process started and dedicating my life to training multiple times a day for 7 weeks. Ive learned a lot thru this process from a physical set back, to reconnecting with something that I loved for such a big part of my life, to being incredibly sore everyday but still pushing forward, but most importantly feeling if I was doing the right thing by my family by trying to go back to playing basketball and sacrificing more of their time with me. So as you can imagine it was a very emotional time lol. But the best part of this process was walking out of the gym after every workout knowing that I could still play the game after 18 long years and hearing the teams that seen me workout all agreeing with that statement. Every team that wanted me to sign are all championship contending teams and in order to except their offer i need to be 100% ready to go physically and mentally from the time that I sign that contract with no room for error beyond that point. I don't feel like I'm at that position now with just 7 weeks of training and I'm not comfortable making that commitment at this point. The issue for me is timing and things feeling right. I'm a true believer of signs and listening and understanding life.

A photo posted by jermaineoneal (@jermaineoneal) on