Is Greg Oden Worth the Risk?


So let me get this straight. Teams are lining up to bid for the services of a former #1 overall draft pick, who’s had 3 micro-fracture surgeries, has only played in 82 career games since being drafted in 07, and has not played in an NBA game since 2009.

It’s amazing how the NBA center is now an endangered species. Kind of like the Blue Whale. At one-point they were everywhere, dominating the oceans. Now you rarely catch a glimpse of one. I guess the old adage of “you can’t teach height” is true and still relevant in today’s small ball, uptempo NBA.

This also tells me that the teams in pursuit really have a lot of faith in their medical teams. Because this is a project unlike anything the NBA has ever seen. He’s the NBA version of Mr Glass. So the question is, is he worth taking a shot on? My 1st reaction is “it depends”.

If you’re a legit championship contender (Spurs, Heat) I say jump in freely. The Heat’s glaring weakness is inside. If you have the personnel, you can take advantage. Indiana took them to 7 games and the Spurs were a Ray Allen 3-pointer away from winning it all.

Chicago+Bulls+v+Portland+Trail+Blazers+ZR-Fp-mxdAtlIf the Heat or Spurs can get anything out of Oden that’s close to what he potentially should’ve been, it’s an improvement over what they currently have at center. He was the #1 pick in the draft for a reason. Chris Bosh would be the happiest person alive, if he could get the 7’0″, 275lb (reportedly) Oden to team up with Inside.

It might extend Tim Duncan’s career if he could have an Oden helping him to protect the rim. I don’t see any flaw in a contender going after the guy. They can afford to take the risk.

But the Pelicans, Hawks, and Kings??? I have no earthly idea why they’re going after Oden. They are not contenders, not even close. At least the Pelicans feel they can contend for the 8th side, but Atlanta and Sacramento? Why?

Why use a roster spot and resources to try and put this guy back together? Those teams should be building for the future. I don’t see Oden as a long-term investment. He’s either going to produce in the next year or two or his career will be over.

The only reason I could see Oden considering these lesser teams is because they have more money to offer him. The Heat and Spurs can offer their mini mid-level exceptions, which is just over $3 million, but Riles and Pop aint giving this dude more than the vet minimum for 1-2 years.

But these other teams have much more cap space to play with. Oden could probably get an offer of $3-5 million per. The Bynum deal showed that teams can be creative if they have the space and the cojones to take a huge risk.

Where ever he lands, I will be actively rooting for him. I was one of the guys who would’ve taken him #1 over Durant. I thought he was a can’t miss prospect, but the only thing he can’t seem to miss is the operating table. A damn shame because he was truly talented with tons of potential

I’m hoping there’s something, anything left in those legs and he gets a few full seasons under his belt, hopefully with a contender. Otherwise, he’ll go down as a legendary bust. The ultimate bad luck story.

Let us know where you think Greg Oden should go and do you think this guy will ever be healthy long enough to help anyone?

– N.D. Face

About N.D. Face

Blogger and lover of ALL things related to and about the game of basketball.

8 thoughts on “Is Greg Oden Worth the Risk?

  1. I believe Oden’s best fit would be in Miami. They need size in limited minutes, which is likely all Oden can or should contribute. No player, healthy or not, can miss 4 professional seasons then fit the NBA’s pace immediately. Keep in mind he hasnt played organized full-court basketball in those 4 years. The Spurs would be the next best spot, but an injury prone player trying to make a comeback on an aging team that’s been riddled with injury isnt exactly a prime location to ensure you prevent getting injured again. Cracking Popovich’s rotation to a level of consistency isn’t an easy task either. The Pelicans have made some solid improvements this off-season, but such a young team would further benefit from a veteran big presence with a proven history over a risk such as Oden. The Wolves tried a similar tactic last season with Brandon Roy and it failed. But at least Roy was a proven winner & leader for several pro-seasons: Oden is neither. Thus, if he’s smart he joins the Heat at a Vet-min. contract & tries to prove if his injuries are finally behind him. There’s no better stage to redeem yourself than on a championship roster hell-bent on a three-peat.

    • I agree Flake, the Heat would be the best place to land. But if these lesser teams are throwing more money and multiple years at him, I wouldn’t blame him for taking the money route. At the end of the day, its a business and he has to do whats best for him and that fragile body. But I agree, the best bball move would be Miami then the Spurs. But money will play a major role in his decision, I’m sure of it

      • Agreed, Mr. Face. Of course I cant help but assume Oden might have some class & be content with the $23 million he made from Portland and simply want to salvage some sort of positive reputationin place of padding his bank account. The league is so full of greed one can only look forward to a player making an ethical decision over a financial one.

      • Hey, can you blame me for disliking the Sprewells & Joe-Johnsons of the league who want checks over championships. So yes; Ethical damnit! LOL

  2. UPDATE!!! Oden has gone with the “ethical” basketball decision and agreed to sign a 2-year contract with the Miami Heat. The 2nd year is a player-option. Let’s see what his knees can do after a 4-year lay off.

    • Yeah Flake, this was the best decision. If he plays 15-20 mins a game it’s a win for miami. But taking all those years off is going to be tough. I took 3 years off from college and I wasn’t hurt. it took me forever to get caught up with the game when I went back. So imagine this dude trying adjust the speed of an nba game after being out 4 years and having 3 surgeries and playing NO organized ball! It’s a long road ahead but I think he’s the perfect spot to make his comeback

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. I have to give Oden allot of credit. The smart move would have been to chase the biggest check. Miami definitely was not the biggest pay day. He probably could have doubled the money if not tripled it with a team willing to pay him for the name recognition. I try to always keep in mind that teams know that a super star caliber player will help fill seats and for 2 or 3 million per year Oden was a smart business decision for any team as he will generate more revenue in excitement than he will be paid.

    To his credit he chose Miami which tells me two things about Oden. His comeback is REAL. At least as far as his really wanting to restart his career and second the kid is a true competitor for going to the team that gives him the best shot at accomplishing the greatness that was probably his to grab before the injuries got in the way.

    Thank God I am heat fan cause at this point I don’t blame anybody for hating the Heat and their never ending good fortune. I would hate them too………if I wasn’t lucky enough to be from the 305. : )

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