You know the free agent pool has dried up when injury plagued center Greg Oden is the biggest prize left. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Greg Oden will make his decision on Friday and that the Atlanta Hawks, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and Miami Heat are the teams in the mix to land him.
Oden hasn’t had much of a career so far, only playing in 82 games over his first two seasons in the NBA, and not playing a single minute since then (2009). That being said, big men are a rarity in today’s NBA, which is why there are six teams willing to take a gamble on him. I hope for Oden’s sake that he can stay healthy and finally have a semi-solid NBA career much like injury ridden Sam Bowie, who like Oden was picked by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1984 NBA draft with the hopes of being their franchise center.
At the age of 25, Bowie had played three NBA seasons and only 119 games. He went on to miss the next season at the age of 26, and only played in 20 games the following season at the age of 27. However, at the age of 28, Bowie began a new life outside of Portland with the New Jersey Nets and went on to have three solid seasons from the age of 28-30. Bowie played in 201 games in that span of time and averaged 14.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Not bad numbers at all. Greg Oden just happens to be younger than Sam Bowie was at that time by three years, and has just as much talent if not more. If Sam Bowie can go on to reboot his career, so can Greg Oden. It would be nice to see what Oden can do if he can stay healthy and develop his game.
—Ben Parker: follow me on twitter@nba_lord