The Greg Oden Dilemma for Cleveland Cavaliers

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Craig Mitchelldyer-US Presswire

The Cleveland Cavaliers are willing to offer Greg Oden a two year contract with a team-option for a third year. This is quite the gamble for the Cavaliers, who are in need of a big man but would certainly not want to jeopardize their salary cap space, the best in the league. Though no contract details have been released, this could be a low risk, high reward situation for the Cavs. Or, as the Portland Trailblazers learned, he could drive an owner to pull out his hair. Just ask Paul Allen who could have had Kevin Durant.

But Greg Oden is only 25 years old and still has a great skill-set for a seven-footer. He has played a total of 82 games in the NBA during his two seasons in Portland, averaging 10 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Not fantastic numbers but for a young big man, not terrible. Dwight Howard averaged 14 and 11 in his first two seasons, while Andrew Bynum averaged 11 and 8 in his second and third season (His rookie season would have skewed results due to him only playing seven minutes per game). But these two are considered the best centers in the league and their early stats are comparable to Greg Oden’s.

The Cavaliers may earn the moniker “Minnesota Timberwolves Jr.” Brandon Roy was one of my favorite players to watch. When I heard he was coming back, I was ecstatic. But it was short-lived. Brandon Roy got only 5 games into the season before requiring more surgery and rehab. He and Greg Oden both had their career’s cut short due to micro fractures in the knees. Now with Oden planning a comeback to the league, we can only wonder how many games he will play before going through the same thing as Roy.

Greg Oden may leave more questions than answers. The Cavs must be decisive if they want to take the chance on Oden with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat also interested in his services. However, I would not expect a strong push until the dust settles from the trade deadline. Though it does not seem likely the Cavs will do any more wheeling and dealing, they need roster spots and the cap space just in case. You never know what kind of deal will come along as the deadline approaches.

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