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Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:09 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 11:20 pm
Posted by Ben Gollivergreg-oden

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The endless wait continues.

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, who last appeared in an NBA game on Dec. 5, 2009, will not be ready for the start of the 2011-2012 NBA regular season.

Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller made the news official while continuing to express full support for the oft-injured center during a meeting with reporters at the Rose Garden on Wednesday. Miller made it sound like Oden's return to Portland is a foregone conclusion despite the fact that he is a restricted free agent.

"Greg is a part of our Plan A," Miller said.

Back in October, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft informed fans on Facebook that he had begun running, but The Oregonian recently reported that Oden has not yet been cleared for basketball activities during his current rehabilitation from knee surgery.

Last summer, Bill Duffy, Oden's agent, said that they were targeting a potential return in January. Miller said that's still the plan.

"He won't be ready for the start of the season but we're hoping by January that he's able to play," Miller said.

A January return would come 25 months since Oden last took the court and more than 13 months since his most recent microfracture knee surgery, which occurred in Nov. 2010.

Miller said that Portland's acting general manager, Chad Buchanan, called Oden's agent on Wednesday, the first day that contact between NBA teams and agents was officially permitted. Oden, 23, was tendered an $8.8 million qualifying offer by the Blazers back in June.

"Chad also talked to Greg's agent today," Miller said. "From all indications, Greg is doing very well. His rehab is going great. The doctors are pleased with where he is. Mentally it sounds like Greg is in a good place. I think he feels good about our organization and how we've supported him through all this. Hopefully Greg will be here and will be able to help us out this season."

Oden has a number of options in front of him. He can accept the team's qualifying offer and play out the season before becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer. He can open negotiations on a multi-year contract extension with the Blazers. Or, he can see if any other teams are prepared to offer him an offer sheet during the abbreviated free agency period, which the Blazers would in turn have the ability to match.

Miller said all options, including a multi-year contract extension, remain on the table. 

"We're looking at all of those," Miller said. "We are looking at having some conversations about extending, if an offer does come in we'll look at it at that point and decide if we're going to match it at that point. But we're looking at both of those situations. [A multi-year deal] is a possibility."

In the meantime, Miller said that he expects Oden to attend training camp, even if he cannot participate fully. This despite the fact that the free agency period and training camp are both scheduled to open on Dec. 9.

"He'll hopefully be in training camp," Miller said, which apparently implies that the Blazers and Oden will reach an agreement in short order. "Don't know how much activity he will be able to participate in but he should be here."

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2011 8:14 pm

Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

I live in Portland and am not an NBA fan, but a sports fan.  From my standpoint Oden will never add anything to any team.  Statistically the number of times he has been injured extrapolates to what his future will be.  Whether it is bad luck, or bad genes, if he is injured this often at this early in his life, he'll be as injured in two years and you'll have to expect a 20-40% return on your money.  Not worth the hassle ... why bother continuing to pursue him?

The sports world is littered with superstars that were injured more than they played.  Part of the makeup of a superstar is how they stay healthy and continue to contribute to the team in > 95% of the games.

Maybe he's a nice guy with a nice attitude, who competes game in and game out, but that is not going to win any games when you're only around 10% of the time.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2011 12:46 am

Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

When we last saw Greg Oden on an NBA court he was competing very well. Greg is a defensive nightmare and a decent offensive center. He had a PER of 23.1 which is really good. It is a number Andrew Bynum has not achieved. It is a number Nene has not achieved. Same for Andrew Bogut, Kendrick Perkins, Joakim Noah, Marc Gasol and Tyson Chandler and Al Horford. Who does that leave better than Oden? Dwight Howard at 26.0 is the only one I found of current NBA centers.

The injury history is enough to bring the NBA player insurance company representative to tears. Yet, Oden still believes in himself. He is reportedly among the hardest working rehab players. He does not complain and say woe is me. He simply goes back to work. I think Greg will still surprise many people. The knee that first had micro-fracture came back more sound than it was before the injury. Now he is coming back from the other knee micro-fracture. Perhaps that will be the case again. His third injury, between those two, was a freak as any I have heard of in a professional athlete. His patella shattered from the strength of the muscles supporting it from both ends! Greg did too much weight work in rehab and now has slimmed down to remove some of that weight of muscle. I suspect he could go as high as $40M for 4 years with the Blazers. From their standpoint they will not be winning a championship without him. Not in the near future. So all-in seems appropriate.

Since: May 27, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 3:50 pm

Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

Tiger: You need to switch meds...I seem to remember a Greg Oden playing for Ohio St.When did he turn pro?

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2011 1:26 pm

Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

...and in other news, water is wet.

Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 1:16 pm
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Since: Sep 29, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:10 pm

Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

I agree with some of the comments on's easy to feel sorry for this guy and his health...and at the same time, if he does stay healthy, he'd be the better man to not even think about leaving the Trailblazers given the amount of time they've stuck behind him.  It's really too bad because he has the potential of being a heck of force inside...

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: December 1, 2011 10:13 am

Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

my question is does he sign with another team (doubt that) or does he stay with the Blazers for at least 2 more years, try to prove he's not Bowie and can stay healthy, then leave. i fully believe that when healthy, he would be a great guy for the Cavs to have because if he can STAY healthy the rest of his career, he would be a guy that the Cavs could sell to their fans.

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2011 10:05 am

Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

This guy is truly Mr. Glass. But some part of you has to feel sorry for this guy.

Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2011 7:35 am

Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

That 40 year old body just keeps breaking down. Oh wait, he is in his 20's. Thats right, he just looks like he's 40.

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:32 am

Blazers C Greg Oden out until January at earliest

Sam Bowie just sucked when healthy Greg Oden is a beast and the future top 2 center in the nba behind Howard, hes only 23 so if he can stay healthy i cant wait to see him play. Oden owes the Blazers for staying with him through all his injuries, he needs to show the same respect and loyality and stay with them.

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