Was Greg Oden The Right Pick?
History might be repeating itself.
10.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.78 bpg
9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg
The first line of stats belongs to Sam Bowie, the man famously known for being picked with the second overall pick over Michael Jordan by the Portland Trail Blazers.
The second line of stats belongs to Greg Oden, the man picked with the first overall pick over Kevin Durant by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Their stats are near identical. Both are injury-prone. Both have been heralded big men. Both were picked over someone productive.
In Bowie's case, he was picked over one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the NBA. Oden was picked over Durant, who at this point in the season is averaging 26 points per game.
Many are getting ready to ink Oden down as one of the worst draft picks ever. Was Greg Oden the right pick in the 2007 NBA Draft?
My answer is yes.
Even though Durant is putting up stellar numbers, his team is at the bottom of the barrel. The Thunder have yet to reach 20 wins this season.
Thanks to Brandon Roy (the first Blazer since Rasheed Wallace to make the All-Star game), the Trail Blazers are in the playoff mix with a 40-24 record and only 0.5 games behind the Utah Jazz for the Northwest Division crown.
Some say Durant could have pushed the Blazers into a better team. That's up for discussion. Durant would have stunted Brandon Roy's growth as a player.
Coming off a Rookie of the Year season, Roy improved his game with the Blazers after they learned their top pick, Greg Oden, was to be sidelined for the entire season with microfracture surgery on his right knee.
Durant stayed relatively healthy throughout the season in his rookie season. With Durant needing the ball, Roy would have stayed at the level he was in his rookie season. With Oden out, Portland found out that Brandon Roy is the one to lead the team to greatness.
The Blazers also could use the extra help down low that Oden can provide. Teaming up with LaMarcus Aldridge would have given the Blazers a young, formidable frontcourt.
That coupled with Brandon Roy's explosive scoring and Steve Blake's underrated playmaking, and you have quite the team. Let's not forget Rudy Fernandez and Travis Outlaw provide a spark off the bench.
The next time you think to yourself "what a moron Kevin Pritchard is for picking Greg Oden over Kevin Durant," just remember the Portland Trail Blazers are making a push to the playoffs while the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking at ping pong balls in June once again.
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