Jermaine O'Neal is too old to let trade rumors rattle him, even if the Celtics' on-again, off-again role in a sign-and-trade deal for New Orleans forward David West continued to bob above the surface of the NBA market.

O'Neal, who has discussed the possibility of being traded with president Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers, approaches the matter with a veteran's world weariness. But if he's traded to a losing team like the Hornets, the 33-year-old center made it clear that he'll probably retire.

"There are really only two scenarios — either I play here or go to a contender, or I stop playing," O'Neal said after yesterday's practice.