January 20, 2013
Greg Oden is talking comeback, and interest around the NBA is sky high. That in itself is news, considering Oden hasn't played in more than two years.
But we're talking about the former No. 1 overall pick and a guy who doesn't turn 25 until later this month, not to mention a man who collected 20 rebounds in his final NBA game (Dec. 1, 2009 vs. Miami).
So forget the three microfracture knee surgeries for now. Plenty of teams are lining up to take a crack at the 7-footer. The short list reportedly includes Boston, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas.
Oden's agent, Mike Conley, has insisted that Oden is 100 percent and a future All-Star. Oden is currently taking classes at Ohio State, and while he's expected to sign with a team this season, it'd be for continued rehabilitation purposes only. He plans to actually play games next season. And with the way things are going, he will indeed be back in the league.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has admitted to keeping close tabs on Oden.
"We're monitoring Greg, like all NBA teams are, but we have not attempted to sign him," Ainge told WEEI radio in Boston. "But we are monitoring him and having (conversations) with his people just to see where he is."
Ainge also confirmed that the interest in Oden is far and wide.
"Everybody is looking to roll the dice and take a chance on a big guy," Ainge said. "So, yeah, there's definitely competition."
Portland made Oden the top pick in the 2007 draft. He compiled averages of 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in 82 total games.
Oden's camp is hoping to come to terms with a team sometime around the All-Star break in mid-February, or just after the Feb. 21 trading deadline.
Sam Amico/Fox Sports