Friday, Greg Oden will have surgery on his knee. Again. Once again for a non-contact injury. This is a genuinely good person, a smart guy whose body continually betrays him. And that is sad.
But we have to ask ourselves what is next? For him? For the Blazers?
The team did not offer an extension to Oden, which means he will be a free agent this summer. Traditionally, however, rookies in his position are extended a qualifying offer, which does two things: Makes him a restricted free agent so the team (in this case Portland) has the right to match any outside offer for him; and it gives a salary number that he can come back and play for with the team that has his rights.
Greg Oden’s qualifying offer would be for a whopping $8.8 million. That’s what you get with former No. 1 overall picks.
Is Portland going to make that offer? If they don’t he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Portland general manager Rich Cho said point blank “He will be restricted.” That means he plans to make the offer.
Other teams’ front office people are not so convinced he will, said CBS Sports Ken Berger.
“No way,” one executive told CBSSports.com. “Tough situation.”
Another exec, conceding that Oden’s qualifying offer is an “enormous number,” said, “I think there’s a chance that they won’t.”
With Paul Allen at the top the Blazers certainly can afford to make the offer. But should they? On the open market Oden will not get $8.8 million (and any deal will be short or have team options very early on).
Also, can he bounce back? Kevin Pelton at Basketball Prospectus notes that Kenyon Martin is the only player to have double microfracture surgery, but he has come back to be solid and play at least 71 games a year the last three seasons (he is out at the start of this one, however for an unrelated injury).
The Blazers have until June 30 to make the offer, and one thing is sure — they will take their time with this decision.
Russell Westbrook led a double-digit comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Been there done, that.
Westbrook hit a defining buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Been there done, that.
Westbrook posted a historic triple-double. Been there, done that.
All three in one game?
That’s a new level for Westbrook, who lifted the Thunder to a 114-106 win over the Magic tonight while posting an incredible stat line: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
James Harden scored 53 in a triple-double just this season, and Westbrook has already one-upped that record.
This MVP race is one for the ages.
The Thunder trailed the Magic by 21 points in the second half and 14 points midway through the fourth quarter.
Russell Westbrook capped the incredible comeback with this 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.
This becoming the norm for Oklahoma City.
Paul George expressed extreme dismay after the Pacers’ loss to the Timberwolves last night — the latest cause for concern in Indiana with its biggest star just one season from free agency.
But perhaps George wouldn’t have sounded so disillusioned if that game featured correct officiating down the stretch.
Minnesota’s Kris Dunn got away with fouling Jeff Teague by disrupting the Pacers guard’s speed/quickness/balance rhythm with 21.6 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:
Dunn (MIN) makes contact to Teague’s (IND) arm that affects his SQBR and causes him to lose control of the ball.
Because the Timberwolves were in the penalty, a correct would’ve sent Teague — who’s making 86% of his free throws this season and 84% for his career — to the line. He would’ve had two attempts to build on Indiana’s two-point lead.
Instead, he forced an off-balance shot, which Minnesota rebounded. Ricky Rubio drew a shooting foul on a 3-pointer on the other end, and his three free throws lifted the Timberwolves to a 115-114 win.
The two-minute report featured a few other missed calls: George getting away with pushing off then Wiggins getting away with fouling George on a possession where George missed anyway, Andrew Wiggins getting away with a travel on a possession where Minnesota turned the ball over anyway. But those were effectively wash’s. Dunn’s uncalled foul was the one of consequence — especially if it contributes, even in a small way, to George’s exit from the Pacers.
Edmond Sumner has grown about five inches since high school.
That has helped turn the 6-foot-5 Xavier point guard into an intriguing NBA prospect — but also seemingly contributed to physical complications. Sumner missed nearly all of his freshman year with knee tendinitis. Then, after a promising second season and start to his third, he tore his ACL in January.
Still, he’s entering the NBA draft.
Rick Broering of Musketeer Report:
Like with Duke’s Harry Giles, medical testing will be huge with Sumner. But at least Giles ended the season on the court. Sumner might not be healthy at all during the pre-draft process.
Sumner looked like a borderline first-round pick before the injury. This probably pushes him into the second round.
His long strides provide impressive speed and quickness, and he’s still shifty. Add quality court vision, and his ability to drive by defenders is even more valuable.
A 6-foot-8 wingspan and good lateral mobility also help make him a quality defender.
But it’s also concerning that so much of his positives could be undermined by his knee issues, especially considering his unreliable jumper. If Sumner can’t move like he did before getting hurt, I don’t see how he sticks in the NBA.
If Sumner’s knees check out, it’s worth rolling the dice on him and hoping his jumper develops. He might even be OK without shooting range, though that’d lower his ceiling considerably.
Again, though, the first thing is examining his knees.