Greg Oden is injured and will require surgery again before he can get back on the basketball court. The Portland Trail Blazers have lost Oden again, as this new surgery means that he will miss the entire 2010-11 NBA season. This isn’t the first time injuries have cost Oden playing time, as he also missed his entire rookie season due to microfracture surgery on his right knee. So what is the surgery Oden is going to require this time, you ask?
According to ESPN, Oden is going to need microfracture surgery on his left knee, a procedure that is expected to stimulate cartilage growth within his knee. It looks like, once again, the Trail Blazers are going to have to pay a player who won’t even be on the court this season, adding to the career salaries he has brought in for such a limited number of games.
Oden was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft, but went through surgery before he could even take the court in regular season action. The following season he only played in 61 games, and then last year he only saw action in 21 games before he went down with injury. Oden hasn’t set foot on the court during an NBA game this year, and now that we find out he won’t, he will end up with 82 games played for the Portland Trail Blazers in four seasons on the roster. His injuries have cost the franchise three full seasons of salary.
During the current NBA season, Oden is set to make $6.7 million in salary, another chunk of money that the Blazers have had to basically throw away. This is the last year of Oden’s current contract, though, so the Trail Blazers will have to make a decision as to whether they will offer him a new contract. Recently, they had already stated that they weren’t going to offer him an extension at the time, and this latest injury could have placed that decision in cement. It seems like a new team will probably benefit the most from all the surgeries the Trail Blazers are paying for.
During his short NBA career, Greg Oden has averaged 9.4 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game. They aren’t mind-bending statistics, but Oden is also only 22 years old. He has the chance to rebound from these injuries and prove that he can be the player many NBA scouts thought he would be when he left Ohio State University, but the jury is out on whether he can ever live up to those expectations. Oden will probably hit the free agent market at the end of this season, and that will mean a team can offer him a bargain contract until he proves himself. That, or someone will overpay for a seven-footer again.