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Oden will get contract, but may not play until January

Jun 16, 2011, 12:49 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

It sounds more and more like the Portland Trail Blazers may offer an $8.8 million qualifying offer to Greg Oden so they can keep him. Yes, the Greg Oden who has flashed talent but played in only one quarter of the team’s games the past four seasons due to some serious knee issues. (Possibly, the Blazers would do something like three years at $12 million total instead of $8.8 million in one, so the cost per year is lower and they hold on to his rights if he does bounce back.)

But wherever Oden lands next season (and he will land somewhere), don’t expect to see him on a court until 2012, his agent Bill Duffy told a Portland radio station (technically, Duffy is the president of the agency that represents Oden, but it’s symanitcs). As they should, they will be cautious about his return (transcribed by Blazers Edge).

You proceed with caution. We don’t want to come back too soon. We’re not going to even challenge it until we get to that 12-month threshold. If it were December or November or January we just can’t afford any more slip ups. We’ll wait until we get full clearance and then probably err on the side of caution, maybe a month or so after that.

Duffy added that Oden has seen a sports psychologist, which makes some sense — all the injuries and all the rehab will take an emotional toll. There have to be doubts and questions in his mind.

Because of his potential, Oden is going to get another shot. Teams just have to consider anything they get from him a bonus at this point. A deal with him is all about keeping the costs (risks) down and hoping for the high-end reward his talent promised.

  1. zblott - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Oden’s health in the New Year would be a major piece of Portland becoming Dallas-light and making a run in the playoffs. For a breakdown of how that could happen and what adjustments the other Western contenders need to make next year:

  2. virusgvr - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Geeee…. Only 8.8 million for a guy that has had micro-fracture surgery on both knees!!! What a deal!! I wish I could get that kinda money just for being me.

  3. southbeachtalent - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    1 quarter in the team’s last 4 years???? WOW, must be nice….

    • goforthanddie - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:19 PM

      “one quarter OF the team’s games the past four seasons”
      Slight difference. Very slight.

    • philtration - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:15 PM

      If it was the 4th quarter then the Heat could have used him against Dallas.

  4. elanum23 - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Oden come to indiana…come back home and get your career back on track

  5. philtration - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Cut your loses and admit that you repeated the Sam Bowie fiasco all over again.
    Portland with Kevin Durant makes a serious run for the Finals but we will never know….

    • jizzojames - Jun 17, 2011 at 1:17 AM

      That theory only works if Kevin Durant takes the league completely over, and brings Championship rings to a franchise that’s never known them. You see its a slight difference.. Slight!!

    • goforthanddie - Jun 17, 2011 at 2:18 AM

      Who’s to say Durant wouldn’t blow out a knee if he were drafted instead of GO? Everybody else in Portland does it…

      • jizzojames - Jun 17, 2011 at 2:30 AM

        I agree. Who’s to say he won’t blow out a kneww next season, god forbid. Look at Tracy McGrady. At one point he was supposed to “Run the League” along side the liks of Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Allen Iverson. Add knee injuries, and a host of back problems, and the fact that he never really worked hard, and now a 7 time all star is a mere footnote in basketball talk. Greg Oden was the logical choice for Portland at the time. I hope he plays again, and reaches at leaste half of his potential.

  6. 00maltliquor - Jun 17, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    I wouldn’t even pay this guy in gum! CUT YOUR LOSSES!!! The writings on the wall, 82 games in 4 years! that’s 1 full season and 3 completly empty ones. No Bueno…

  7. halfcourthero - Jun 17, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    I hope he gets it together… He’s a good guy… Just imagine him on the floor with Aldridge and crash as the front court… That’s a scary sight

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