Greg Oden – The Number 1 Draft pick in the NBA 2007 Draft by the Trailblazers, selected before superstar Kevin Durant, has been collecting over 5 million dollars a year plus a whopping signing bonus, while sitting out the better part of three seasons with two knee surgeries and a wrist problem. His handful of games and his injury prone career contribute absolutely nothing to the decision making process of a new contract, so the TrailBlazers have tendered him (a restricted free agent) qualifying offer of 8.8 million dollars. Amazing guaranteed money for a 7 foot center who has played about 80 games over the last three years ( his entire career). At least it would appear that way.
The fact is the TrailBlazers have nothing to go on with this guy. He is the same guy they were looking at in 2007 only now he has two bad wheels, ( one they say he messed up playing dance dance revolution at the Betty Ford Clinic Bar ) in Portland. He looks so old that he may have fought in the Civil War and and Mel Brooks 2000 year old man swears he recognizes him from a battle in the trenches, but he has always looked like that. On the other hand, he has had a cushy 3 years off and still houses a world of potential as an athlete and could be a dominant center in NBA, maybe ? No one knows and this is where the game Greg is playing goes and why Greg, you still hold the cards. You are at a crossroads, on the verge of a big contract if you can deliver on the promise of a Number 1 pick. Or you are on the doorstep of the end of your career and you should take the guaranteed money and find a new career and no not as a dancer, although now that I think of it you should enter Dancing with the Stars.
Greg, listen to me on this one, you have the same hand to play here that you had coming out of College. Do not sign the offer, shop yourself to other teams, get ready to play ( when and if the NBA settles their CBA), time to put it on the line. If you play like a monster, you are looking at 40 to 50 million dollar contract. If you sign the offer and blow-up again and you have a shitty year, yes you would have received the 8.8 guaranteed, but you will miss out on the big contract that is sitting there. The fact is no one knows what you have. If you have the talent, ability to stay healthy and produce or does your career already speak for itself.
Either way no one knows what you have right now. Everyone is calling you the next Sam Bowie, Portland’s second greatest mistake. So you hold all the cards Greg, Portland has a huge investment in you and no doubt you feel a strong sense of obligation to them, however, they are not willling to commit or pony up a new big contract, or double down so to speak, so in this case you need to look out for yourself. You might have value to the big market teams looking to win a championship and you are worth the risk, hey its only money right Mr. Dolan Or Mr, Prokhorov? But, the time is now while no one knows if you are all that or all splat.
Come on Greg outsmart everyone. You are a restricted free agent, that means you get to go shopping. I can only imagine what money you might find in New York or NJ etc, and then Portland would have to match which they won’t and probably can’t. You should get out of the town anyway, it has not worked for you or for them.
Greg your future is so bright right now you have to wear shades again, or knee braces, no one knows and that my friend is money. One thing I can tell you for sure you will never be here again, so don’t blow it.