Greg Oden Needs to Be Ditched by Portland Trail Blazers

Alex EppCorrespondent IFebruary 13, 2012

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 01: Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on November 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Trail Blazers 110-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers need to dump Greg Oden.

In fact, the Portland Trail Blazers should have dumped Greg Oden a long time ago.

Since 2007, when the Trail Blazers selected Oden with the first overall pick in that year's NBA draft, Oden has played a grand total of 82 games. Since joining the NBA in 2007 Greg Oden has been paid $23,295,444 over five years.

Essentially, Oden has been paid over $284,000 for each game that he has played. The last time Oden played an NBA game was December 5, 2009. Since then, the Trail Blazers have not been able to let him go, as they continue to offer him contract extensions.

As a Portland fan, it has been hard to see what we have missed out on in Kevin Durant. For the longest time, other Blazer fans and I have held out hope that Oden will eventually perform as well as he was projected to when he was the number one draft pick.

Now, it seems almost everyone except for the Blazers management has realized that Oden will probably never play in the NBA again. If he does, he will not be close to what the expectations were when he was drafted.

In the 82 games that he did play, Oden averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and nearly 1.5 blocks per game. Though, he did show that he was capable of possibly averaging 15 points and 10 boards if he could remain healthy for an entire season.

Unfortunately, the remaining-healthy-for-an-entire-season part, was—and has been—a struggle for Oden.

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers dunks against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game at Oracle Arena on November 20, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Today, Oden will undergo the fifth knee surgery that he has had as a Blazer. On Friday, he underwent a procedure to clean out debris from his knee.

This year, Oden was originally offered a one-year deal worth $8.9 million, but, due to his setbacks, he and the Blazers agreed to cut that down to $1.5 million.

Even though this amount was reduced, Oden is still not worth it. And he never will be.

All the management is doing by continually throwing money at Oden is creating a false sense of hope for fans.

They are creating a hope that Oden will come back and be the next Dwight Howard, that he can play as well as he was supposed to.

Here’s the cold reality, fans and acting general manager Chad Buchanan—Greg Oden will not be that player.

The Blazers need to move on and spend their money on someone of more value. The Blazers are in desperate need of someone that can help LaMarcus Aldridge carry the team. Raymond Felton, so far, has proven to be a bust, and Jamal Crawford is much too streaky.

The Blazers are quickly disintegrating and need to make some major changes, starting in the front office. The Blazers are in desperate need an active general manger; they need to find someone who has a lot of guts and brains.

Someone like Kevin Pritchard.

Made the scapegoat for the way the 2007 drafting of Greg Oden turned out, the true story of what happened between Pritchard and Allen may never be know. But, what is known is that the Blazers need a GM, and they fired quite possible one of the best GMs in Blazer history.

There will always be players that were expected to do great things but will turn out to be complete busts. Fans always need someone to take the fall for someone else that made a bold move that ended up turning sour.

This is the case with Portland, and it is now time to move on—dump Greg Oden, and stop the “What if we drafted Kevin Durant instead?” talk.

In this case, Portland drew the short stick, while the Oklahoma City Thunder (then Seattle Supersonics) lucked out.

It is a bitter truth, but the NBA is moving forward. If the Blazers don’t move forward, as well, they will quickly fall right down to the bottom of the Northwest division, if they aren't already. They need to find someone to take Oden’s spot, as Marcus Camby is getting old and Aldridge cannot do it all himself.

The problems seemed to have only piled up since Oden joined the Blazers. Dump him and move on.