For all intents and purposes, Jermaine O'Neal played his final game as a Raptor last night.
After all, there is no purpose in keeping O'Neal around in Raptorland any longer.
The team's intent, ever since word leaked a month ago today out of South Beach that O'Neal was being shopped around, was to find a suitable suitor for the veteran.
O'Neal is a good guy who has been placed in a bad situation, a natural power forward who has been asked to play centre.
There is always a chance O'Neal will survive next Thursday's trade deadline, but those chances appear to be slim and none, or roughly the same odds of the Raptors
seeing the post-season.
With so much work to be done in remaking these Raptors, O'Neal represents one of the few assets that can actually be parlayed into additional pieces, both in the short term and long term.
Following last night's dizzying 91-89 win over the visiting San Antonio Spurs, the Raptors
don't play until next Wednesday.
By then, O'Neal will either be moved or be asked to sit for LeBron James' visit to the ACC with some injury, real or imagined.
That's how business gets conducted when a deal in principle is agreed upon on a night when a player involved in said transaction is scheduled to play.
At least that's the scenario many envision, one that makes a lot of sense on many fronts.
The only questions remain the most obvious: Where and for whom?
Miami has been linked with O'Neal for the longest time, or at least from the day a Heat official conveniently leaked the possibility of a deal.
Any team would welcome a veteran post presence who can play at both ends.