It's hard not to feel bad for Greg Oden.
Just when he was playing up to some of the hype that preceded him a few years ago, he went down with a fractured kneecap that will probably end his season. Add it to the list. Oden's getting hurt like a guy who got drafted by the Clippers.
I was a believer. I thought this was the year he stepped into his own and helped the Trailblazers move into the next level out West. I still think he's got the tools to be a good player in the NBA. He might never be the franchise player people thought he would be, but he can still be good.
Which is why two lines in Chris Tomasson's piece about Oden for FanHouse stood out.
Oden's injury makes it more likely he will become a restricted free
agent in the summer of 2011. The Trail Blazers figure to be more
reluctant to offer Oden a lucrative contract extension when they can
next summer for the first time.
That got the wheels turning.
Is it possible… at all… that Greg Oden will play for the Celtics?
In 2011-12, the Celtics are currently slated to pay Kevin Garnett $21 million, Rajon Rondo $10 million, and Rasheed Wallace $6.8 million. That's it. It's a lot for KG, but not a lot overall. Of course, when we get to that season, we'll be in a much different situation. Kendrick Perkins might have signed an extension. Paul Pierce might have re-upped for a few years. Ray Allen could be in mid-extension.
So the situation for the C's that offseason will certainly be different than the picture we see now, but we know the Celtics will still have needs… and money to spend.
Greg Oden will miss the rest of this season. And because its his knee, he'll fall out of condition. Coming back from something like that will be tough… so who knows what the 2010-11 season will bring for Greg.
But still… the Blazers may allow him to test the market a little regardless of how well he plays next year. And if they've alrady found success without him, they might just let him go. Or maybe, if he's rebuilt some kind of value, they'll work out some kind of trade.
There is a lot that can happen between now and the summer of 2011. The Blazers could go into the tank this year and realize they NEED a player like Oden. They could on to win the West and realize they don't want to pay for a player like Oden.
The Celtics, meanwhile, could find more help in the post somewhere else. You never know.
But its at least possible… even if it's remote… that the Blazers might not want to match certain offers to Oden in two years. And it's possible… even if it's remote… that the Celtics might have, say, mid-level money and enough of a championship pedigree left to make going to Boston attractive for someone like Oden.
So I think it's possible that the situation would be right for the C's to make Oden an offer. And considering what we've seen from Oden this season… I'd be open to it.
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