It's Go Time: 8 Players Whose Careers Hinge On the 2010-2011 NBA Season

Ryan VirginCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2010

It's Go Time: 8 Players Whose Careers Hinge On the 2010-2011 NBA Season

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    Each an every season in the NBA is important. Each game is examined, each point, each play, and at the end of the year we scrutinize every aspect of each team.

    But for some players, one season can turn into a do or die moment. It can become the year that regain their touch or they disappear into the bench.

    On great year can mean the difference between a huge contract and a huge bust.

    and that is exactly what this list is.

    A compilation of the prominent players in the NBA that are in a do or die scenario. Players in which the 2010-2011 NBA season will define their careers.

    Thank You for reading.

Greg Oden

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    Do I really need to say any more? Greg Oden's career has been plagued with injuries. In his entire three year career, the former number one pick has only played in 82 games.

    and guess what? He's in a contract year, making the 2010-2011 NBA season that much more important for both parties.

    So what would you do if you were the Portland Trail Blazers?

    Do you sign the oft injured potential phenom to a long contract worth less money or do you wait to see if he can play an entire season healthy before you give him any guaranteed dough?

    In my opinion, you have to fork over the money.

    Centers are very rare in this league and you take one when you can get em.

    The Blazers should offer Greg a contract worth $25-35 million over four or five years and hope that he gets past these set backs.

    Maybe you even fork over 40 million if some of it is incentive based.

    Whatever you do, you are going to be taking a chance.

    If you wait until the end of the season to give him a deal then you could have one of two things happen:

    Greg gets hurt again and you can get him cheaper or he plays an entire season and then suddenly his value skyrockets and you are forced to pay a lot more to retain a player you could have gotten for cheap.

    It's a bad situation to be in.

    and that is why this season is so important for Greg Oden.

    If he plays well he gets a huge contract, if he gets hurt he gets a one or two years deal.

    One more injury could also mean that the Blazers would be willing to part ways and other teams would have to think twice about picking him up.

    In the name of optimism, I have no doubt in my mind that Greg will be able to come back and play 60 games next season.

    But those 60 games could end up being worth tens-of-millions in market value.

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Andrew Bynum

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    We just talked about one young center with injury troubles, so why not switch the discussion over to Andrew Bynum.

    Much like Greg Oden, Andrew Bynum has had injury issues, particularly issues with his knees and the last thing you want to see is a young gun like Bynum or Oden with knee troubles in their 20's.

    So lets look at whats at stake.

    What if Andrew Bynum plays an entire 82 game season without a major injury? Well then the Lakers are going to be a dangerous team and Bynum will have a major talking point for his next contract negotiations.

    What if Bynum goes down with another major knee injury? Well then the Lakers will have to think about the direction they are heading at the center position.

    Do they really want to continue to live season by season, or do they want to find a center that will be able to play consistently?

    2011 may not be a contract year for the promising big man, but it might as well be.

    Another major knee injury and Andrew Bynum might be looking for a new home come contract time... Or at least he would need to settle for much, much less dough because I doubt the Lakers would be willing to give up, even though Bynum's future is beginning to look bleak.

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Yao Ming

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    Yeah, I know.

    You're starting to ask yourself if this article was titled "Eight big men whose Career depends on the 2010-2011 NBA season".

    But the thing is that centers with injury problems are always living on the edge. One more knee injury and they could never recover.

    Take Yao Ming for example. He didn't have knee issues, but he broke his foot and since he is 7 foot 6 inches tall, that bone in his foot means his career.

    If it heals, well then we are in the clear.

    If it doesn't, it would look as though Yao would be on the next flight to China.

    So if you can imagine, next season really does decide what Yao will be doing in the future.

    His career is in the balance and the only thing that will tell us if he is ready to go is his health next season.

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Rudy Fernandez

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    Rudy Fernandez isn't an NBA star by any measure, but his stardom beyond the confines of this great country is enormous.

    The guy has the potential to be something special but he is stuck in the wrong system, behind better players, and in his contract. The Portland Trail Blazers have tried to trade him, but Rudy's recent string of media mishaps have only made that prospect more unlikely.

    There is not doubt in my mind that Rudy Fernandez would benefit from a change in scenery and could blossom in an uptempo system like New York, Phoenix, or Golden State.

    But chances are that Rudy will stay put until the Blazers can get a first round selection in return.

    Rudy Fernandez's career as an NBA player really depends on how well he plays next season.

    If he plays well and returns to his rookie year form, he will either get a bigger contract with the Blazers or a long contract with another team.

    Rudy Fernandez has the talent to be a star in this league, but it is more likely that he will return to Spain, returning to his superstar status as a Spanish basketball player.

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Elton Brand

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    How many years has it been since Elton Brand was a stud?

    It's amazing that a player can go from being at a superstar level for one organization and then sign with another team and just completely fall off the face of the NBA world.

    Elton Brand really needs to have a good season and I think that this is the year that 76er fans begin to decide if this is the direction they really want to head in.

    A very good year out of Elton Brand would bring him back into the discussions of many NBA fans. Not entirely back to where he was pre 2008, but it would go a long way as to restore the confidence that was lost by injuries.

    If Elton has another bad year, I wouldn't be surprised to see the team go in anther direction.

    and in that case, who would sign Elton to any kind of guaranteed contract?

    This season is almost vital for Elton Brand.

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Hedo Turkoglu

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    Hedo Turkoglu has found a new home with the Phoenix Suns after an abismal season with the Toronto Raptors.

    and to think that he was once the Golden boy of the 2009 free agency...

    Man, thank God my Portland Trail Blazers didn't waste their money on Hedo. But that is an argument for another day.

    Right now Hedo has a chance go restore his image in the basketball community. With one good season he would go from a one and done player to being a very good role player in the eyes of most NBA fans.

    The shift would go from Hedo and to the Toronto Raptors.

    Instead of asking why Hedo couldn't do it, we would be scrutinizing the Raptors on why they suck so much.

    The Phoenix Suns aren't an ideal situation, but Hedo could find himself in a very limited role with one more sub-par season.

    Either that or he could find himself in a very prominent role for the rest of his career.

    Take your pick Hedo.

    Go big or go home.

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Gilbert Arenas

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    The main piece of advice I have for Gilbert Arenas is to not screw up.

    If you screw up one more time your done.

    If anythin negative happens that includes a gun, you are done.

    If you get pulled over and you have a gun in your car, you are done.

    Any arrests, incidents, citations, or negative affiliations and Gilbert Arenas will be done.

    The Washington Wizards were dumb enough to keep you around after you threw a loaded gun across the floor of the locker room.

    You could have killed someone.

    If the firing pin in that handgun gets knocked loose, that bullet is going to come out of that barrel.

    If the shock from the handgun hitting the ground sets off the percussion cap, then you wouldn't have a job anymore.

    You cannot screw up Gilbert or else your NBA career would most likely be over. 

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Andrew Bogut

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    It's all about the elbow for Andrew Bogut.

    If he can come back healthy and play an entire season as the starting center for the Milwaukee Bucks, then all will be well.

    But if Bogut struggles to recover from his elbow dislocation, then has career could be in jeopardy.

    The elbow is very important in basketball and dislocating it is very troubling. 

    Every time you dislocate a joint, it becomes easier and easier for that same joint to become dislocated again. This damage to the ligaments is very troubling and can cause sever tendonitis. That same ligament damage can cause Bogut to have pain every time he bends his elbow.

    That would make it very difficult for the former number one pick to continue his NBA career.

    Again, you get one season under your belt and I think you are in the clear.

    But if you have any issues with that elbow, it could eventually spell your fate.

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