After being the leading scorer in EuroLeague last season and a good showing at the FIBA World Championships in Turkey last summer, we had high hopes for Linas Kleiza this season in Toronto.
It hasn’t worked out that way. And now his season is over after the team reported that he had microfrature surgery and arthroscopic surgery for torn meniscus (two different procedures) that will keep him out 9 months to a year.
Kleiza returned to the NBA’s Raptors after agreeing to a four-year, $18 million deal that the Nuggets chose not to match. With the vacuum created by the exit of Chris Bosh, Kleiza was seen as a guy who could step in and take on some of the scoring load.
Kleiza has averaged 11.2 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting and his rebounding numbers were pedestrian. The Raptors have spiraled down lately, having now dropped 13 in a row.
The length of recovery for these surgeries means Kleiza likely will miss the start of next season as well (if it starts on time due to the lockout).
Greg Oden is about to miss another season with his second microfracture surgery, the team has announced. Another injury to his knees, something that has to make you question if we will ever see the injury plagued former No. 1 overall pick on the court again. The Basketball Gods have it in for this man, sadly.
The team also announced that Brandon Roy will be out two games.
Oden missed his rookie season due to microfracture surgery on his right knee. Last December he injured his left patella and missed the rest of the season. It is that left knee that now will have the microfracture surgery (which helps stimulate cartilage growth).
Since being drafted, Oden has played in 82 of a possible 256 regular-season games. When he plays, Oden has has been good, he just hasn’t played much.
Oden had had some mild workouts recently, usually before games, in hopes of getting back on the court. He had a more strenuous one on Sunday, which was followed by fluid buildup in the knee that had to be drained, team doctors told the media. Out of that came more tests and finding the need for the surgery. There was not one specific incident the injury was attributed to.
The Trail Blazers did not sign Oden to an extension, meaning he will be a free agent come July 1 (he is the first No. 1 overall pick not to be offered a deal after his rookie contract since Kwame Brown). It will be interesting to see what kind of interest is out there for him. Other players, such as Zydrunas Ilgouskas, had knee issues that looked like they would end a career but were able to bounce back and be productive. Oden, however, will apparently never be productive on the level expected of a big man taken in front of Kevin Durant.
Apparently Detroit is done thinking it over and is good with it.
Detroit has reached a one-year, $1.3 million deal with Tracy McGrady, according to multiple reports. He worked out for Detroit last week and told Detroit coaches he was willing to play whatever role he was offered (a contrast in tone from what he told Chicago, where he said he wanted to compete for a starting spot).
This deal is for the veterans’ minimum. At that price, this is pretty much a low risk move with the potential for a high reward if McGrady’s knee really comes back. Unless McGrady decides he needs to play more and goes Allen Iverson in Memphis on the team. Which is what Chicago feared after working him out and talking to him.
McGrady joins a crowded swingman position for Detroit. Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince will start on the wings in Detroit, with Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye and even Rodney Stuckey able to play those roles as well.
McGrady could be good depth if the Pistons trade Prince at the deadline (something they said they would only do if he asks, but there is interest out there). But at first minutes are going to be hard to come by.
McGrady, 31, is one year removed from microfracture surgery on his left knee. How much he is able to bounce back from that will determine how much of the court he sees — reports out of his workouts were that his movement, particularly laterally, was slowed. However, he can still knock down shots, and that has value.