He injured his left knee from colliding with Aaron Brooks. But while people think he is a bust and that he is just like Sam Bowie, whom Portland selected in the 1984 draft right before Michael Jordan. But he is only 21 years old; talent is not what's keeping him back from being an elite NBA center. The only thing that's been holding him back is his injuries.
People think he will never be healthy, but next year and beyond are new years. He'll be healthy and motivated to help the Trail Blazers be contenders in the west. Portland however, has young talent surrounding Oden. Led by all-star Brandon Roy, consistent LaMarcus Aldridge and up and coming Nicolas Batum, Portland has created a starting lineup that will like to stay together for years to come.
Portland can make the playoffs without Oden, they were able to win 50 games without Oden and many others for the majority of the season. But Oden can make the difference from a lower seeded playoff team that will last one or two rounds at most to a perennial title contender.
With Greg Oden, Portland is the best team to compete with the Lakers because Oden gives them length and size to match up with LA's front court.
Portland will have a title in the near future, but only if Greg Oden is a part of it.