Greg Oden’s career has been mired by injuries and disappointment. In between there have been flashes of above average talent, sure, but mostly, for now at least, the 25-year-old is regarded as one of the biggest busts in NBA history.
After initially being heralded as one of the most intriguing basketball prospects of all time, the lanky seven-footer spent one mildly underwhelming year at Ohio State before being selected No. 1 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007.
In order to select Oden, Portland passed on Kevin Durant.
Over the course of his five years with the Blazers, due to a myriad of injuries, Oden played in all of 82 games. Exactly one season. Moreover, he hasn’t played in a single game since 2009. Portland ultimately cut him in March of 2012 to make room on the roster for other acquisitions.
Given that track record, one would assume the market out there wouldn’t be too booming for a guy who hasn’t played basketball in three years, and couldn’t even stay on the floor (because of injuries, not skill) when he wasn’t out with season-ending injuries.
And if one did assume that, one would be wrong.
The market for him is great.
As reported by CBS Sports:
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat have emerged as the leaders to land former No. 1 pick Greg Oden. The 7-foot Oden, who hasn't played since Dec. 5, 2009 due to multiple knee injuries, is hoping to take a visit down to Miami to meet with Pat Riley and the Heat in the next week, a source told CBSSports.com. Miami would likely offer a deal for minimum salary while the Cavs could pay up to nearly $4 million. The Boston Celtics are another team that has expressed interest, but the source said that Oden is leaning towards making a comeback with either Cleveland or Miami.
Oden averaged nine points and seven rebounds per game in the 82 games that he did play in. Which is, you know, solid. But how any team at this point can look at those stats and prioritize them over his injury prone nature is mind-boggling. It’s just another example of how GMs will never stop putting name value over common sense in this league.