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Blazers to keep Oden, extend one-year, $8.8 million offer

Jun 29, 2011, 4:33 PM EDT

greg_oden Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers are not willing to give up on Greg Oden quite yet.

The team offered the oft-injured center a one-year, $8.8 million qualifying offer for next season, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo, on twitter. Oden can sign the offer (and well may), but just by offering it the Blazers reserve the right to match any offer for him. (While the rules may change in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, with this transition class they will almost certainly still have matching rights.)

Basically, think of this as step one of the process. The Blazers can also offer other contracts along with the qualifying offer (hypothetically, say three years $12 million, so less per year to the team but more money overall to Oden, and if he does recover they would have him locked up).

When he’s healthy, Oden has played well and shown flashes of why he was drafted No. 1 overall. But due to knee injuries he has played just 82 games total in four years.

He’s injured again currently and while he is doing rehab he may well not be back on the court until January.

The Blazers had hinted before this offer was coming, that they were invested and were willing to pay again to see if he can get healthy, if he can get right. It’s not a terrible risk, if you’re willing to spend the money. Apparently the Blazers are.

Oden needs to be fully right before he steps back on the court. This comeback, this chance could well be the last one. But he’s going to get paid one more time.

  1. messer78 - Jun 29, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    pay me the money, ill help you more.

  2. zackd2 - Jun 29, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Thoughts of a NBA GM:
    Are you 7 foot? Yes. Do you breath? Yes. Well here’s 8.8m

    • Bryce - Jun 29, 2011 at 6:08 PM

      Seriously, I wish I could get paid almost 9 million dollars for not doing much of anything

  3. david8726 - Jun 29, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    I feel like this is a perfect example of why we’re going into a lockout.

    That’s a completely irresponsible amount of money to offer someone who is a proven injury risk.

    The blow is softened somewhat by the fact that it’s only a one year deal. But still, Oden’s history suggests that he’ll make at least half his salary sitting on the bench with yet another injury.

    It’s a damn shame, because he’s a nice guy and I’d like to see him do well. But his body just isn’t made for this game.

    • goforthanddie - Jun 29, 2011 at 8:51 PM

      “he’ll make at least half his salary sitting on the bench with yet another injury”

      He’s out until January at least, so you’re exactly right.
      That said, the few times he’s been healthy, he’s proven he deserved to be the top pick. Half a season may/may not show if he is indeed healthy; if not, Paul Allen can afford 9mil. If he is healthy, PDX has a top-flight center.

    • zackd2 - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:53 PM

      Why the need for a lockout? The owner can tell his GM, no, don’t offer this injury prone dude 8.8m.

  4. pudgalvin - Jun 29, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    I agree, but do you fault the owners or the players? If the the Blazers want to keep Oden, which I think is absolutely the right move, they have to offer him this amount of money, per the CBA. Obviously they don’t think he’s worth this much, but they either pay him his nine million and try to come to terms on a slightly more favorable deal, or they let him walk.

    That’s why I think the players are as much at fault in this mess as the owners, and there isn’t an easy solution. For every Hedo Turkolu signing, there are moves like this where teams backed against the wall and have to pony up.

    • kinggw - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:08 PM

      How are the Blazers backed up against the wall? They dont have to do anything. Im so tired of hearing what teams have to do. The Blazers could have attempted to resign him for less before waiting to this point. Players as a whole shouldnt have to suffer because owners are too dumb to exercise some fiscal restraint.

    • david8726 - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:08 PM

      How is it the players fault for taking as much money as they can get?

      Bad contracts rest on the shoulders of the owners and no one else.

      It’s the players job to market himself, play well, and try and make as much money as they can. No one can ever fault someone for taking more money if it’s offered from someone.

      No one is forcing those owners to overpay for inferior talent. They have to show restraint, and they haven’t.

      • pudgalvin - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:51 PM

        You’re right that the owners agreed to this percentage, but this is what the players demanded out of the last CBA. This is the dollar amount the Blazers have to offer Oden. They could offer him a lower amount, but in the end, they have to offer the 8.8 million based on his rookie contract. This has nothing to do with fiscal restraint. If the Blazers want to keep their first overall pick that they’ve invested quite a bit of money in, then it’s going to cost them 9 million for a year, unless Oden would be content with a longer contract. If they don’t extend the qualifying offer, they don’t have the right to match another teams offer.

        And with the draft being the way it is these days, maybe two for sure good players and the rest a farm team for 3 years down the road, this can be a sticky situation for owners when rookie deals are up. Say, just for example, this year Michael Beasley takes a nice step up for the Wolves. Maybe a solid 15 and 7 guy that plays decent defense (for example only remember). Next year they’re going to have to offer him 9 millionish. Or they flat out lose him. It’s a tough choice if he’s simply a contributor on a building team. Once he gets his 9 million and continues steady play, his market value is set at 9-10 million a year, but he’ll only take a 4 year deal. So now you’re set up with a slightly above average player who’s important to your team, and you have to pay him 36 million over 4 years, or 15% of your cap room. That’s 15% of your cap tied up to a guy that’s probably the second player off your bench.

        All just hypothetical, but that’s what happens. Luol Deng would be another good example of this. Nice player, good defense, key to the Bulls success, but they only way he’s a Bull right now is the 12 million a year deal they gave him. The players want inflated guaranteed contracts, and the owners get suckered into terrible contracts to try and keep their teams competitive. Granted the owners hand out brutally stupid contracts on a regular basis, but the blame doesn’t fall strictly at their feet.

      • david8726 - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:05 AM

        Pudgalvin,

        Looks like you were right and I was wrong. I wasn’t aware that Oden was given this offer because that’s what Portland is locked into.

        So I would agree with you that, as far as rookie contracts go, both sides are at fault when it comes to how much money is spent.

        I guess my rage against the owners is more directed at the owners who offer absurd contracts for players no longer under their rookie contracts. You know who I’m talking about – The owners who give max contracts to the likes of Joe Johnson and the full mid level exception to lesser talent.

  5. metalhead65 - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    while the owners look stupid for doing this look what happens if they don’t. the union will sue for collusion and they will end up paying anyway. I do not think it is right for somebody to be told how much they have to pay a player just because they have the money to. how is it fair that the blazers have to offer him that much money? if somebody else wants to fine but just because a team can afford to does not mean they should have to. you don’t like the offers then go play overseas if somebody there will pay you. name another job where workers get to name their salaries?

  6. ac0117 - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    Wow, 9 mil? How much does he get payed per game that he actually plays in

  7. theduuuuuuuuuude - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Oden has certainly proven that he is injury prone, but the training staff in Portland is consistently ranked as the worst in the league. It’s hard to get healthy when your recovery is being mismanaged. Not trying to make an excuse for Oden, but I’d be interested to see him on a team with a capable training staff that could not only get him healthy but keep him healthy

  8. rajbais - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    And NBA owners are losing cash???

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