Well, this is a sentence I never thought I’d type:
The Golden State Warriors will take a look at signing Greg Oden or Yao Ming this summer if they can’t get a big at the trading deadline, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Yup, you read that right.
They have interest in two centers who have no good legs between them. Two men who combined played in 26 games the last two seasons.
And honestly, it makes some sense. The Warriors are not the only team thinking like this. If the price is right a number of teams would take these risks (particularly on the younger Oden). Warriors GM Larry Riley explains the logic.
“When you’re looking at what you can do to get better, you have to consider the possibility of what an injured player today might be able to do when he returns,” said general manager Larry Riley, who can’t name players under contract with other teams. “A lot has been done down that road, and more will be done.”
Oden will be a restricted free agent this next summer (meaning the Blazers can match any deal) and Yao will be unrestricted.
Big men who can defend the rim and rebound are at a premium in the NBA right now — with the no hand checking rules on the perimeter there is no way to stop a quick guard now. Russell Westbrook can’t defend Russell Westbook now. Teams need a big who can protect the rim. Notice the two teams in the finals last year had Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum, that’s not a coincidence. There are not enough of these kinds of players to go around.
So teams will be willing to take a risk on talented but injured players. The Warriors are one of them.