Time is ticking in Portland. They’re not racing the clock to lock up a franchise player or even an All-Star. The Trail Blazers’s front office is, instead, currently weighing the pros and cons on extending…Greg Oden’s contract.
Yeah…you read that right.
You’d think, from the outside looking in, letting Oden walk would be a no brainer. Greg’s young NBA career has seen plenty of setbacks due to various knee and tendon injuries. He’s only played 82 games, and missed 2 full seasons, in his four year NBA career.
BDL’s Kelly Dwyer suggested, with the impending CBA deadline, picking up $8.8 Million on the last year of his contract would keep him around to heal until the season starts. That sounds well and good in theory since the time off would finally give his knees some time to heal. Additionally, Portland’s big man problems may get worse in the short term if they let him go. Marcus Camby’s on his last legs and they don’t have any other suitable back ups at the five.
They essentially can gamble on getting the defensive presence they always wanted in Oden or let history be their guide. Plus their payroll is one of the biggest in the NBA. What’s more is lower body ailments have a habit of reoccurring and/or severely hobbling players; Andrew Bynum, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Grant Hill can attest to that notion to name a few. Therefore, it would be wise to let him go and, should the lockout subside in time for a 2011-12 season, play out Marcus Camby’s expiring contract. Greg Oden’s not a great player and will land on another roster since teams are that desperate to get a center. Then they can pursue Roy Hibbert in 2012 or have a slim chance at Marc Gasol this summer.
You’re dealing with a coin flip in regards to Oden. One side shows a healthy center that can be a top shot blocker and rebounder. The other side forebodes dropping more millions on a dude sitting on the bench for long stretches. Portland’s played through injuries before and they’re due for some new faces anyway. They ought to let another franchise take a chance while they scour the NBA’s talent pool for a capable five and a back up over the next two years. Talent is definitely dry at the position but, all things considered, it’s better to give yourself a chance to improve than go all out for a familiar face with unstable form.