Only one wil play this season
It's a sad day for not only Portland Trailblazer fans but for NBA fans. Greg Oden is officially done for the season and will have microfracture surgery on his knee. The #1 pick in the draft, the player the Trailblazers had pinned the future of their franchise on, will make his debut in 2008 rather than `07. I feel bad for the guys over at SB Nation site, Blazers Edge who have to endure it. Even one of my favorite sports writers, Bill Simmons, wrote on the topic, Blazers don't deserve Bowie 2.0.
I was genuinely excited to see the big man play and I don't even like big men unless their uniform says Warriors on the front. He was a freak (in a good way, not the Lil' Kim way). How many 19 year olds have the defensive skills and body type he does? None. He could have stepped right into that team and been in the running for All-Defensive team, while possibly leading the league in blocks. The guy is sick.
I enjoyed watching him in college and wanted to see how his skills would translate to the pro level. There will be no competition with Kevin Durant for the Rookie of the Year award. Some say it wasn't going to be a competition anyways, saying Durant would win it all regardless. I predicted Durant, but wanted Oden to make it interesting. Now, Belinelli has an even better chance to be the runner up. Or could it be Brandan Wright?
So what about the team? I thought they contend for a playoff spot given how well the team was playing at the end of the season. Throw in Oden to guard the paint and you have a greatly improved team. Replacing Oden and Zach Randolph with Channing Frye and Joel Pryzbilla to team up with LaMarcus Aldridge just isn't the same. I don't think they challenge for a spot, but will certainly be a tough team. If they're bad enough, they could earn another high draft pick and use that on one of the bright young stars coming out next year. This season won't be a waste for them as I expect Brandon Roy and Aldridge to step up their game. Those two are very gifted and will cause problems nightly. This year will be tough, but come the 2008-09 season, if Oden can make a full recovery and they pick up a lottery pick, that team will be stacked.
So this brings me to: would you trade for Oden? Given that he appears to be injury prone, does it make sense to offer Portland a fair trade? First, I don't think Portland will trade him since they will never get fair market value. Second, what is fair market value for him? Is Biedrins straight up for him enough? I'd say no. If I were Chris Mullin (I'd be a much better looking Chris Mullin mind you), I'd be willing to give up Biedrins and a future #1 for him (would Portland even do that?). The Warriors would not do well this year, but there's no guarantee they'll make the playoffs anyways with a current team that's even worse than last year. But in 2008-09, a frontline of Oden and Wright combined with Monta and Belinelli wouldn't be so bad. Anyways, food for thought.
It's a sad day for the NBA, but definitely benefits our Warriors. That's just one less team to challenge for a playoff spot and should make earning a win versus them a little easier.
How do you think this affects Portland and also the Warriors? Would you trade for him?
Also check out the diary, Breaking News: Oden injures knee (OUT FOR SEASON) for some more comments and discussion.
Oh man this is a weird Greg Oden song. "Take a look at Greg Oden..."