NBA Free Agency: Portland Trailblazers Offer Greg Oden a Ridiculous $8.8 Million

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2011

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

It looks like Greg Oden won't be headed to a new team this offseason after all.  

According to ESPN, his current squad, the Portland Trailblazers, have extended a ludicrous qualifying offer of $8.8 million.  Considering his history with injuries, I'd be blown away if anyone tries to top that offer for the now restricted free agent.

Even if another team boldly offers Oden more than the enormous qualifying offer from Portland, the Trailblazers would still have the option to match it.

This is a move that makes almost no sense for Portland.  The No. 1 pick from the 2007 NBA draft has played in a total of 82 games since he entered the league.  He's had surgery on a wrist and both knees, and has had foot problems as well.

There's no doubt that the seven-footer can be effective when he's on the floor.  He's averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per 36 minutes during his injury-plagued career.  The problem of course is that he's rarely on the floor.

So while the Blazers may need depth down low, they're not likely to find what they're looking for in the tragically brittle Oden.  They have other pieces they can build around (Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace and LaMarcus Aldridge). Oden's new contract could be a big hit to the Blazers after whatever the lowered cap will be under the new CBA.

A lot of teams will have their hands tied behind their backs financially whenever a new deal between the players and owners is finalized.  By locking up Oden, the Blazers have pretty much locked themselves into that category.

At 23 years old, it's fine to think that Oden still has the potential to be a great NBA center.  But this dollar amount is insane for a guy with such a long list of injury problems.


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