It's official. Portland center Greg Oden will be a restricted free agent next summer.
While it's not a surprise, considering Oden has played in just 82 games in his first three seasons due to injuries, the 2007 NBA top draft pick will become the first No. 1 selection to not have signed a contract extension after his third season since Kwame Brown was taken by Washington in 2001 and became a restricted free agent in the summer of 2005.
Bill Duffy, head of BDA Sports, which represents Oden, confirmed to FanHouse on Tuesday that Oden will not sign an extension by Monday's deadline.
"There's too much that he needs to do,'' Duffy said of Oden, who still has yet to be cleared to play after suffering a serious knee injury last December and missing the rest of the season.
Duffy called it a mutual decision between Oden's camp and the Trail Blazers to not to pursue an extension. He said it never really was discussed.
"It's really a foregone conclusion,'' Duffy said. "To evaluate what he's done so far, it's incomplete.''
Nov. 1 is the deadline for players taken in the first round of the 2007 draft to sign extensions that would kick in at the start of next season. It's normally Oct. 31 but was moved back a day this fall because Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday.
Only two players have signed so far, No. 2 pick Kevin Durant with Oklahoma City, and No. 9 selection Joakim Noah with Chicago. One agent representing a player taken in that first round speculates No. 3 selection Al Horford will end up re-signing with Atlanta, but that nobody else might sign. If that is the case, the number of players locked in would be three, half of the six who got extensions last fall.
Thoughts on whether or not GS should attempt to pursue him next season? Our chances might be slim, but I know one thing is for sure- when he's healthy, Grandpa Oden is a beast.