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Warriors may try to pick up often-injured center this summer

Feb 21, 2011, 12:31 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

Well, this is a sentence I never thought I’d type:

The Golden State Warriors will take a look at signing Greg Oden or Yao Ming this summer if they can’t get a big at the trading deadline, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Yup, you read that right.

They have interest in two centers who have no good legs between them. Two men who combined played in 26 games the last two seasons.

And honestly, it makes some sense. The Warriors are not the only team thinking like this. If the price is right a number of teams would take these risks (particularly on the younger Oden). Warriors GM Larry Riley explains the logic.

“When you’re looking at what you can do to get better, you have to consider the possibility of what an injured player today might be able to do when he returns,” said general manager Larry Riley, who can’t name players under contract with other teams. “A lot has been done down that road, and more will be done.”

Oden will be a restricted free agent this next summer (meaning the Blazers can match any deal) and Yao will be unrestricted.

Big men who can defend the rim and rebound are at a premium in the NBA right now — with the no hand checking rules on the perimeter there is no way to stop a quick guard now. Russell Westbrook can’t defend Russell Westbook now. Teams need a big who can protect the rim. Notice the two teams in the finals last year had Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum, that’s not a coincidence. There are not enough of these kinds of players to go around.

So teams will be willing to take a risk on talented but injured players. The Warriors are one of them.

  1. jstrizzle - Feb 21, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Kurt,
    What will you say when Oden or Yao get a contract that dwarfs Darko’s? I better see the criticism fly because at least Darko can get on the court.

    • captaindaddy - Feb 21, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      ^^^ Yao and Oden are more valuable when they are on the bench/home/hospital or dont have any legs than a fully healthy darko on the court for 82 games

      • jstrizzle - Feb 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM

        No they are wasted roster spots and salary cap nightmares. Both Houston and Portland are ready to break it down and rebuild because of it. Oden is making $7 Mil and Yao about $17.5 Mil.

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