The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly looking into signing free agent big man Greg Oden for the 2013-2014 season, and the move makes perfect sense.
The former Ohio State University star has been hurt for most of his NBA career, and he has not played since 2009. Oden has said several times, though, that he wants to play again and that he is planning to play next season.
The former No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, Oden had all of the skills a player could ask for when he was healthy. He is 7 feet tall, and could run the floor when he was in college, play great defense, and be a force with his rebounding. He also could score, and moved well around the rim.
In his one year at Ohio State, Oden did and said all of the right things, and he was a natural choice for the No. 1 draft pick. Some people thought that Kevin Durant could be the No. 1 pick, but most people projected Oden as No. 1, and the Portland Trail Blazers selected him in that spot.
Several years and several injuries later, though, Oden has only played in 82 games in the NBA, and it is hard to tell what type of physical shape he will be in for the next season.
If the reports are true that the Cavaliers are looking into signing Oden, though, they should definitely make the move. Seriously, what do the Cavaliers have to lose?
If Oden is a complete washout, then they would lose some money on the contract, but it likely would not be a lot. Also, they have money to spend in their budget so it wouldn’t cause many problems. In addition, they likely will waste money on another player or two who won’t play much or won’t be as good as they hoped, so it really wouldn’t be any different.
If Oden can play some, even just a little, though, he could be a nice addition to the Cavaliers. The team needs more players for the frontcourt, and if Oden can come in off of the bench to play tough defense and rebound, he would be an upgrade for the bench.
If Oden can somehow come in and be in great shape physically and be someone who can post up and score a little, too, that would all be gravy for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have some good post players in Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller, Marreese Speights and (when healthy) Anderson Varejao. With all of Varejao’s injuries, the team still needs more post players, and maybe Oden could fit the bill.
The fact that he played at Ohio State University and would generate some more interest in the Cavaliers would also certainly help his case.
The fact that the Cavaliers are a young team that is on the rise would also seem to make Oden a good fit. He would not be expected to come in and contribute right away. Instead, he could work his way in slowly and find ways to help the Cavaliers. Oden could be a good complement to the other young players, and hopefully he could help the team keep improving.
Signing Oden would obviously be taking a chance, but it’s a chance the Cavaliers should take.