Jul 10, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Shareef O’Neal (45) reacts after a play during an NBA Summer League game against the Charlotte Hornets at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being impressive in a few Summer League games for the Los Angeles Lakers, Shareef O’Neal will be playing in the NBA G League for the Ignite. But don’t feel too bad for O’Neal as he’s reportedly signing a six-figure contract, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

For the Lakers this summer, the 22-year-old averaged 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, which wasn’t enough to make them want to give him a roster spot yet. The G League is where a lot of young potential NBA stars play to learn and develop before hopefully earning that NBA contract.

O’Neal admitted that he and his Hall of Fame father disagreed over whether or not he was ready to join the NBA. At least right now, it looks like Shaq was right.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be ready in the near future, according to former Laker Bryon Scott, who recently told TMZ that he thinks O’Neal can develop and be a star in this league.

“I think he looked a little bit out of place,” Scott said. “He wasn’t ready. I think he still has a little ways to go. I think the talent is there. Obviously, the athleticism is there.”

“As for the other generational player that the Lakers signed this summer, Scotty Pippen, Jr., Byron sees a lot more potential in him.

“It’s just some other little things he has to tweak. But Scotty Pippen Jr. looked really good,” Scott continued. Pippen Jr. was the talk of the NBA Summer league averaging almost 12 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals per game. Even LeBron James took notice of the young star who played at Vanderbilt and was a first-team All-SEC player while he played there.

While O’Neal continues to develop, Pippen may be the Lakers’ next star.

[TMZSports, The Athletic]

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.