oneal_jermaine040515.jpgSporting News: There would be some coincidence if, indeed, Pacers forward Jermaine O’Neal is shipped to the Lakers to play alongside Kobe Bryant. After all, no pair of players has been more bizarrely uncertain of their desire to be traded this summer than Bryant and O’Neal.

Bryant’s trade-me/Laker-for-life escapades have been well-documented. O’Neal’s aren’t nearly as whimsical or controversial as Bryant’s have been, but still, the big guy’s words have followed an odd trajectory — he told reporters that if the Pacers are rebuilding, he’d like to be dealt to the Nets or Lakers. He was also quoted as saying that Larry Bird was trying to gut the Lakers in his trade demands, but then O’Neal denied ever making that statement. By the end of Tuesday, he was firmly stating his desire to remain in Indiana.

That might not be up to O’Neal. His waning trade value might be what keeps him with the Pacers.

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