Since being drafted first overall in 2007, the 7-foot big man has primarily become known for his frequent injuries, being selected before Kevin Durant and texting a regrettable photo of himself that later hit the web.
Oden has played just 82 career games due to injury and last saw the court in December 2009. So why are teams jockeying for position to sign him? The simple answer is this:
If Greg Oden is healthy, he can ball with the best of them.
Granted, that’s a huge “if”, but his ability to contribute when healthy is well established.
For example, Oden has played at least 25 minutes in 31 games and averaged 13.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and shot 61 percent from the field in those games.
Oden has also proven he can also make a huge impact in individual games as shown in these five dominant performances from his relatively short career.
5. November 18, 2008 vs. Golden State Warriors: 22 PTS, 10 REB, 2 BLK, 8-12 FG
Oden flashed his potential in just his fifth NBA game. His 22 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench left Blazer fans brimming with hope that their fragile center could have a bright future. Unfortunately for Oden and his fans, this would be one of just three 20-plus point games he would have as a Blazer.
4. December 1, 2009 vs. Miami Heat: 13 PTS, 20 REB, 4 BLK
Greg Oden pulled down a career-high 20 rebounds, including 11 offensive boards, in a 107-100 loss to the Miami Heat. Oden dominated Miami center Jermaine O’Neal on the glass, holding O’Neal to just five rebounds in 28 minutes of action.
3. February 8, 2009 vs. New York Knicks: 17 PTS, 12 REB, 6 BLK, 7-11 FG
Portland beat the New York Knicks 109-108 thanks in large part to Oden’s career-high six blocked shots. Oden was able to put up a solid double-double (17 and 12) along with the six blocks in just 27 minutes of action.
2. November 23, 2009 vs. Chicago Bulls: 24 PTS, 12 REB, 2 BLK, 7-8 FG
Oden overpowered a good defender in Joakim Noah and avoided the athletic helpside defense from Taj Gibson to tie his career-high with 24 points as the Blazers defeated the Bulls 122-98. Oden limited Noah to just six points and eight rebounds.
1. January 19, 2009 vs. Milwaukee Bucks: 24 PTS, 15 REB, 2 BLK, 9-14 FG
Nothing helps a player put up a career high in points (24) and have the second best rebounding day of his career (15) like going up against the immortal Dan Gadzuric. In the most dominant game of his brief career, Oden obliterated the Bucks down low in helping Portland to an easy 102-85 victory.