Last night, the Cavaliers lost at home to the Timberwolves. I'm not really interested in recapping the game, mostly because I fell asleep at halftime and missed most of the second half. But also because I want to talk about Greg Oden.
It was recently reported by Jason Lloyd that Cleveland is likely to offer Oden a two-year contract after the trade deadline, which is on February 21. Yesterday, Sam Amico reported that the Miami Heat are no longer interested in Oden, and that it could come down to the Cavaliers and Bobcats. I don't have any inside information, but I'd be willing to bet that Cleveland is his most likely destination.
Here are some indisputable facts: Oden was the number one pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Despite looking like he's 42 years old, he's actually only 25. When he was healthy, he was pretty good. He averaged 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds in 23.9 minutes while playing in 21 games in 2009. But he's played in just 82 games in his NBA career, and hasn't appeared in one since December 5, 2009. He's had three microfracture surgeries on his knees (two on his left, one on his right). Last year, his former Ohio State teammate Mark Titus wrote a profile in which he described Oden's battles with drinking.
That is what we know. Now I will move into the realm of what we think we know, and what we hope.
First and foremost, I hope the Cavaliers sign Greg Oden. I think it would be a savvy move. The team has plenty of cap space, and at some point they need to start using it. A two-year contract for a guy who hasn't played a game since 2009 won't break the bank. It's a low-risk move with a potentially big reward.
If Oden can give them anything, he would be a steal. Big men don't exactly grow on trees, and he has proven that he can play at this level. What's a few million bucks of Dan Gilbert's money to try and find out if he really is healthy now?
That said, I'm not all that optimistic about this. As everyone knows, knees are really important for NBA players. Oden hasn't just had a knee problem, he's had problems with both of his knees. And his legs are two different sizes, which is not ideal. These knee problems have followed him for his entire career, and it's unlikely that they will suddenly go away.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope the Cleveland Clinic can work some magic on Oden. I hope he can be healthy and give the Cavaliers a legitimate center. I think it's definitely worth trying.
But I'm not holding my breath.