Despite all of injuries and surgeries, Greg Oden is going to find a team for himself in the NBA next season. The Miami Heat have been the first to show some interest in the former number one pick, but the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies are all going to try and sign him.
You can’t have enough good big men, especially if they come in cheaply. While Oden didn’t show any signs of becoming a superstar at center for the Blazers during the 82 games he played for them, when he’s healthy he’s a very solid option to have in the paint on both ends of the floor.
Oden is only 25 (unless you believe the conspiracy theories), which means there’s quite a lot of upside to consider when signing him. Oden isn’t going to put on big numbers or probably play too many minutes, unless he handles himself well during the early parts of a season, but any team in need of a quality backup big man (and it’s hard to find an NBA team without a need for a 7 footer coming off the bench or even in the lineup) should be interested in him.
Especially when considering Oden isn’t going to cost too much – maybe something a bit more than a minimum contract, hoping his 16.7 points, 12.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per 36 minutes he posted during the 2008-2009 season are something that haven’t disappeared in the four years he’s been away from the basketball courts.
Oden doesn’t want to be on a team that’ll put a lot of pressure on him to play, which means he’d rather be going to place he can play behind a significant big man and offer a few minutes of rest here and there. Playing for a contender isn’t a must, but joining a team that already has a solid puzzle and Oden won’t be thrust into too big of a role is ideal for him, trying, probably for the last time, to save what might remain of his NBA career.