I’m sure most of you are aware of the sad story that is Greg Oden’s career up until now. After being selected first overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007, his career has been an injury-riddled mess. After missing the entire 2007-08 season, he slugged through five injury plagued seasons with Portland, only playing a total of 82 games between 2007 and 2012. So, Oden has essentially played only one full NBA season over the span of five years.
Yet teams are still willing to give Oden a chance. Why? He still has a tremendous amount of potential due to his size and rebounding ability. He will always be an injury risk, but he was a first overall pick for a reason. One of the teams that has been linked with the now free-agent Oden is the San Antonio Spurs. If Oden is serious about revitalizing his career, he should choose to go to San Antonio.
There are a myriad of reasons as to why he should pick the Spurs. For one, Oden would not be thrust into major minutes immediately. The team would be able to ease Oden into play and manage his minutes to minimize risk of injury. Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich is the best in the business at managing minutes, and Oden would be smart to realize this.
Another reason Oden should choose San Antonio is that his skillset fits much better with the Spurs than it does with the other teams he is considering, such as the Miami Heat. Miami is primarily a small-ball team that focuses on getting out into transition. The Spurs, on the other hand, still start two seven footers and are primarily a half-court offense. Oden would be out of place in Miami, trying to keep up with the likes of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. He would fit right in, however, with the Spurs system that values traditional big men.
Perhaps the biggest reason Oden would be wise to choose San Antonio is Tim Duncan. Duncan is one of the greatest big men to ever play and would be a tremendous mentor for the still young Oden. Duncan, unlike Oden, has been able to manage his body remarkably well over the course of a sixteen year career, something Oden could use plenty of advice with. Duncan won’t be playing much longer, so Oden should take advantage of the chance to be mentored by him.
All of these reasons add up to the Spurs being the best fit for Greg Oden at this point in his career. Regardless of what the Spurs offer Oden money wise, he would be smart to take it if he is serious about revitalizing his once promising future.