Six-time NBA All-Star Jermaine O'Neal says he intends to make a definitive declaration about his playing future early in 2015.
In a conversation Friday with ESPN.com, O'Neal acknowledged that he knows various teams have expressed interest in signing him in recent months and said he has not ruled out coming back for what would be his 19th NBA season.
But O'Neal, who has elected to focus on his family and business interests for now after a successful 2013-14 campaign with the Golden State Warriors, maintains that he will not seriously weigh offers -- or decide to step away from basketball for good -- until January at the earliest.
"I'm going to make a clear-cut decision after the holidays," O'Neal told ESPN.com.
Given the dearth of proven rim protectors in today's game, it's safe to say that other suitors will undoubtedly emerge for the 36-year-old, not unlike the frenzy Ray Allen will undoubtedly spark among various contenders if the free-agent sharpshooter decides in January or February that he's up for one more playoff run.
But the pull of spending more time with his children and immersing himself in his various business pursuits is a strong one for O'Neal. The Warriors acknowledged many times last season how fortunate they were to have convinced O'Neal to leave his Dallas-based family to play in Oakland.
In late October, O'Neal tweeted about how much he was enjoying the corporate world as well as watching 15-year-old daughter Asjia (who has rebounded from heart surgery to emerge as a highly rated high school volleyball player) and coaching 8-year-old son Jermaine Jr.'s basketball team.