Dec 8, 2011, 12:47 PM EDT
The Trail Blazers are giving Greg Oden one more shot.
Oden is going to sign the Blazers one-year qualifying offer at $8.9 million, reports Jason Quick at the Oregonian. This is essentially the last year of his rookie deal, Oden will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
Oden has played well when he has been on the court, the problem is that has been for just one-quarter of the games in his first four years in the league and none since 2009. He has had multiple knee surgeries and is not expected back this season until January at best.
This is a good risk for the Blazers. Portland is a team that is solid at every spot on the floor but lacks the elite, superstar talent to take it to the next level. Brandon Roy used to potentially be that guy, and even with his knee issues they are giving him another look.
Oden, if healthy (and if he could stay out of foul trouble) might well be a top five center in this league, the kind of defense-and-rebounding big every team needs. For one year, it’s worth the risk to see if he can bounce back. If not, you tried, if he does you have a big piece of the puzzle.
I wouldn’t be getting my hopes up if I lived in Portland. But this is a good gamble.
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