Greg Oden wants to give it another go in the NBA and teams were lining up to get him. The Celtics and Spurs were among those with interest, as were the Heat with the lure of all the… let’s say “extracurricular activities” Miami can provide.
But Cleveland was always the front runner to land Oden — after leaving the NBA in 2009 he went back to Ohio, has taken classes at Ohio State, and worked on his comeback. It’s where he is comfortable.
And the Cavaliers had interest — now they are about to make that formal a multi-year offer reports Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, via Sulia:
The Cavs are expected to offer free agent center Greg Oden a two-year contract with a team option for a third year after the Feb. 21 trade deadline passes, a league source said….
Oden is living nearby in Columbus. His agent, Mike Conley Sr., said last week Oden has been to see the Cavs a couple of times already, but was evasive when pressed as to what capacity.
“Greg has been up there (to Cleveland) before and he’ll probably be up there again in an official capacity,” Conley said Friday.
Nothing happens before the trade deadline because nobody messes with cap space before the deadline. Just in case. But afterward look for Oden to take the offer.
Why do this if you’re Cleveland? Because if Oden can finally get back on the court and give you a solid 15 minutes a night off the bench, he will be a steal. This guy was the No. 1 pick over Kevin Durant for a reason — he could play. In the 82 games he did play, he looked good. If he can get back on the court in a limited role and be solid, well, have you looked around at the state of big men in the NBA? He would have real value.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)
The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.
While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”
Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”
We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.
Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.
Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.
His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.
Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.