It is being reported that the Portland TrailBlazers have offered former No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden an $8.8 million qualifying for next season, making him a restricted free agent and giving Portland the right to match any offer made to him.
This move doesn't come as any shock to those in the know, despite Oden's injury riddled career up to this point, because if there is one thing you can't teach in the NBA, it's size, and that's definitely something Oden has in full. The often injured 7 footer has the ability, the drive, and the heart to be a star in the league, just not the health, and Portland is willing to gamble one more year on the big fella.
"We've stood behind Greg Oden every day since he became a Trail Blazer and that continues with today's announcement," Trail Blazers president Larry Miller said in a statement. "Despite the setbacks he's experienced, he continues to be resilient in working tirelessly on his rehabilitation. We're all very encouraged with not only his progress but with his commitment and determination to return to the basketball court."
And then there's the Sam Bowie factor.
Bowie was Portland's first round pick in the 1984 draft, the second pick overall, and will forever go down in infamy because he was picked instead of Michael Jordan. Now fast forward over 20 years later and Portland held the number 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft. They chose Oden over Oklahoma City's two time scoring champ and emerging best player in the league Kevin Durant, a move that has the potential to rival the Sam Bowie fiasco.
With that being said, it's pretty obvious why the TrailBlazers aren't quite ready to dump Oden.
Portland had until Thursday night to make the qualifying offer and had hinted on several occasions that they were going to do so. For his short career, he has appeared in 82 games out of 2 seasons, Oden has averaged 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds a game.
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