The Greg Oden sweepstakes (if you can call it that) came down to two teams recently: the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Charlotte Bobcats. The Cavaliers were prepared to offer a two-year deal for Oden but decided to wait until the trade deadline is over so that teams could still make moves with them beforehand.
But according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Oden’s not going to do such a thing. Here’s what he said at his Power Rankings:
Injury-riddled center Greg Oden probably won’t sign with a team until the off-season, his agent Mike Conley told Yahoo! Sports. The Cavs are interested in the ex-Ohio State star.
Oden is still hurt and wouldn’t be able to play this season. He’s apparently good to go next season, in which case teams will try to go after him.
The Cavs, even without Anderson Varejao (who is out for the season due to a blood clot), have pretty good depth at center with Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson. But Thompson is a natural power forward and what the Cavaliers don’t have is that big shot-blocker and stopper in the middle.
Oden, despite his multitude of injuries, can still be potentially that guy. The Cavaliers have an extra $4 million from their salary cap that they can give away. Greg Oden’s agent, Mike Conley Sr., had mentioned that Oden has seen the Cavaliers twice already.
As for the Bobcats, they need a little bit of everything. Byron Mullens is their guy at center right now and is backed up by Brendan Haywood. Bismack Biyombo is at the power forward slot and is a great shotblocker. But pairing up Oden with Biyombo could make for a potentially scary front court defensive duo.
Oden, who was seen as a Bill Russell-type of defensive player, has had three microfracture knee surgeries and has not played since December 5, 2009. He was drafted first overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2007 NBA Draft. Oden has only played 82 games overall for the Blazers in five seasons before he was released near the end of last season. His best statistical season was in 2009-10 when he played 21 games and averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per contest.