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.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.
This news is just sickening. In a world with just too much sickening news.
According to NBC 5 in Chicago (which spoke to police), Dwyane Wade‘s first cousin Nykea Aldridge was pushing a stroller down the street when she was shot and killed as an innocent in the crossfire of a gang shooting.
The 32-year-old woman, whom family identified as Nykea Aldridge, was apparently the unintended victim of a gang shooting, police said. She was walking around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two males approached another male and opened fire, police said.
Wade tweeted this.
Aldridge was on her way to a local school to register her kids (they had just moved) when the shooting took place. There has been a rash of gang and gun violence in Chicago in the past year, and Dwyane’s mother Jolinda Wade had just been on a panel on ESPN’s Undefeated talking about it.
Wade is coming to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls this season.
Our thoughts are with Nykea Aldridge’s family and friends.