The Los Angeles Lakers picked up another O’Neal and the son of a former Chicago Bulls legend on Tuesday night.
At least for now.
The Lakers signed Shareef O’Neal and Scottie Pippen Jr. for deals after the NBA draft, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. O’Neal, the son of Shaquille O’Neal, the former great man of the Lakers, will play with them in the summer league and Scottie Pippen’s son agreed to a two-way contract.
O’Neal spent last season at LSU, his second with the program, though he averaged just 2.9 points off the bench in 14 games while dealing with an ongoing foot injury. He started at UCLA but had to undergo open-heart surgery in 2019 after he was diagnosed with a right coronary artery abnormality.
While it’s hard to compare him to his father, O’Neal had several predraft workouts and chose to stay in the draft, despite few people thinking he would go higher than the late second round. While he will have to prove himself in Las Vegas to earn his spot, it sure is cool to see another O’Neal in a Lakers shirt.
Pippen joins the Lakers on a two-way deal, which should carry him into the season this fall. Pippen averaged 20.4 points per game at Vanderbilt last season while starring in the SEC, but most expected him to be overlooked in the draft. At just six feet, he’s much shorter than his father and not quite as capable – which, again, is an incredibly difficult question.
While it could take a long time for either player to make the full Lakers roster next season, this vintage-esque summer squad could be fun to watch.
And if nothing else, their basketball backgrounds certainly give both Pippen and O’Neal a lot of advantage.