Greg Oden, was the No.1 draft pick in the 2007 draft. Standing 7-feet tall and 280-pounds as a freshman in college, Oden led Ohio State to the NCAA title. However, flash forward four years, and Oden has only played in 82 games over his four seasons in his NBA career. In fact, Oden missed all of the 2010-2011 season, due to a surgery he had on his left knee last November. Moreover, Oden hasn’t played in an actual NBA game since December of 2009; when he needed surgery to repair his fractured left patella.
League sources told Yahoo! Sports, that the Portland Trailblazers have spoken with Greg Oden’s representatives and they will tender the center an $8.8 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The Blazers have until midnight ET Thursday to give the qualifying offer.
If Oden receives an offer from another team, the Blazers will have seven days to match the offer. Typically, teams will frontload the contract in attempts to prevent the players’ team from matching. However, with a history like Oden’s, teams face the challenge of front-loading a contract for a player with injury issues who may get hurt and need the surgery again.
Microfracture surgery is one of the most severe knee procedures that athlete can have—Oden has had it done twice. Chris Paul has been avoiding this type of surgery and Amar’e Stoudemire is still considered an injury risk because he had the same surgery five years ago in one knee. Oden on the other hand, has had it done on both knees. Not to mention, his fractured patella. And although Oden is more than ready to play in the upcoming season, he’s a big risk.