FanPost

Should the Celtics Consider Greg Oden for the (Distant) Future?

Upon learning the news of Greg Oden's all-to-familiar demise--microfracture surgery preventing him from playing the rest of yet another season--I could not help but feel sorry for the guy. He had and still has tremendous raw potential obvious to anyone who watches him for just a few minutes, and since high school he has been held to standards that curiously seem to ignore the fact that pretty much all he has is his potential and it is--well--very very raw. He has been irritated by injury after injury throughout his time in the public eye, depriving him of the experience he needs to develop the unnurtured skills he's shown signs of for years. Unfortunately, until he gets on the court and puts in consistent time he will be harshly but justifiably regarded as a failure.

But once Oden finally does get healthy (no matter how many surgeries it takes), he will still be relatively young and he will still have raw potential. His physical tools will no doubt be weaker than they once were, but if he can ever manage to string some healthy games together, he will eventually develop into something like what he was supposed to.

Maybe the Blazers are getting tired of Oden's perennial disappointments--it would be hard not to be frustrated. I know nothing of his contractual obligations to them, but it seems plausible that if this pattern continues, Oden might find himself out on their doorstep. I can't gauge what the level of interest around the NBA would be like for the prematurely battered big man were this to happen. But it seems that if it comes to a few teams "taking a chance" at him, I see no reason for the Celtics to be among them.

Eventually, this man will be healthy. With some luck, at some point down the line he will put in a full season of play. Once he gets that consistent time, there's no telling how much of the player he was supposed to be he could actualize. The Celtics will soon be running out of big men again as their ancient and hobbled frontcourt finally fades, and we know from last year that a surplus of bigs is practically necessary to winning a championship, so why not add another seven footer when you can. Oden has shown rebounding and shotblocking energy that the C's haven't had in a center for a decade (no disrespect to Perk, he's just not that type of player). Maybe, with experience, that ability will finally emerge and the Celtics will, all the sudden, have some form of the high school and college phenom to pad their frontcourt with hustle defense and rebounding that can only help against the best teams in the league.

Oden wants to succeed, and what better place to be helped along than in Boston with some form of this team. If Celtics fans are great for anything, its for nurturing up-and-coming players who really try their best (Rondo, Baby, Perk, to name a few, all grew up marvelously under the care of this crowd). And to play and practice alongside Garnett is an experience that has proved to help anyone, but especially big men, develop.

I could go on but I want to hear what people think. So why not take a chance, if it ever comes to that?

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