Today’s Greg Oden update takes us to his recent workout in Indianapolis, where five of the six teams interested in signing the free agent big man were all in attendance.
The takeaways were that Oden looked good, both physically and from a basketball standpoint — which is why so many teams are weighing their current level of interest, and how much they’re willing to commit financially in order to take a risk on the former number one overall pick who has had injuries derail his carer thus far.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
Word from multiple witnesses of Greg Oden’s workouts this week: He looks quite lean & is moving quite well. No wonder so many teams in hunt
The next steps: Teams will make formal offers early this week in terms of money & medical care. Then Oden should make choice by week’s end
We’ve said it all along — Oden is looking to get right financially here as much as anything else, so the team that comes up with the biggest money offer is where he’s going to land.
While it’s true he may fare better personally in a lower-key environment where there won’t be as much pressure to succeed, any of the teams interested will do just fine managing that process. And whether it turns out to be Miami, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio, Atlanta or Dallas, it appears more and more likely that we’ll see Oden back in the NBA next season.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.
After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.
So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?
Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.
The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.
Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.