The Portland Trail Blazers have a huge decision that the team will have to make before June 30, whether or not to extend former number one NBA Draft pick Greg Oden a qualifying offer that would give them the right to match any offer made to the center by any other team in the Association. The Blazers would have to offer the big man a qualifying offer of $8.8 million by June 30 or he will become an unrestricted Free Agent. Oden’s agent Mike Conley told the “Oregonian” that he expects that Portland will delay making a decision until they have to. Conley told the paper “I’m sure they’re going to hold off doing anything until the end.”
Oden’s agent believes that his client will draw interest from many different teams in the Association. He said “He’s intriguing to a lot of people. It will all come down to the physical condition Greg is in at the time. He’ll have to prove he’s ready. But if that’s the case, people will be interested. No question.”
The Blazers chose the former Ohio State center with the first pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, bypassing Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant who has become an All-Star as well as an MVP caliber player since he started playing in the Association. Oden, meanwhile has been plagued by injuries since being drafted spending most of his career so far on the sidelines undergoing rehabilitation as he has played in just 82 games in the last four seasons. It is not known when or if Oden would be able to play in the upcoming season as he is still recovering from his third surgery since joining the club. The procedure was performed last November.
Conley told the paper his client is doing his best to get back into shape to be able withstand the rigors of an entire NBA season. The agent said “He’s working hard and he wants to come back strong. He wants to make sure when he comes back that he stays back and is ready to be productive. He feels like he’s let a lot of people down not being on the court and he wants to do everything he can to get back. He’s had to live the last three to four years with being the No. 1 pick and with a lot of hype and a lot of expectations. Now he realizes nothing matters unless he can get on the court and be productive.”
Clay Buchanan who is the interim General Manager for the Blazers told reporters that he believes that Oden has a good attitude about his mission going forward; which is to regain and maintain his health. He said “I think he knows it’s an important time in his career. He’s simplified things in his life and he’s focused on getting healthy. That’s what we want from him and as long as he continues to do that, I think we feel pretty good about what we’ll end up doing.”