Boston looking to sign Greg Oden
With big man Greg Oden set to return to the court, the Celtics have been listed as one of his potential landing spots. This from ESPN:
Greg Oden will likely choose from a group of suitors that includes the San Antonio Spurs,Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies, a source close to Oden told ESPN.com.
A source close to Oden told ESPN's J.A. Adande that the Cavaliers and Spurs appear to be the best fits at this time.
Sure, Oden has had a less than stellar start to his career, playing in only 82 games due to numerous injuries after being drafted number one overall in 2007, but at 25, Oden still has plenty of time to prove that he was worth the pick.
A healthy Oden can be a real game changer with his rebounding and shot blocking ability and a team can never really have too many seven-footers.
With the Celtics limited financial flexibility for the upcoming season, the best Boston could probably offer is a minimum contract. That shouldn't be much of an issue since most suitors aren't really going to pony up serious money for Oden until he can prove for at least a whole season that his injuries are behind him.
The direction of the team he signs with will certainly be a bigger deal. Oden may want to sign with a contender like the Spurs or an up and coming team like Cleveland instead of a team in total rebuild mode like Boston. Now that the Spurs have reportedly come to an agreement with Tiago Splitter to keep their starting center in San Antonio, the Spurs may be out of the running. But the Cavaliers and superstar point guard Kyrie Irving have plenty of roster spots and potential for Oden, although he probably wouldn't start as the Cavaliers have a front court of Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson.
If Oden really wants to showcase that he's back and ready to rumble again, Boston wouldn't be the worst choice. The Celtics don't really have a starting center at the moment so Oden would get plenty of playing time and if Boston keeps Rajon Rondo, Oden would get plenty of good shots inside. Oden could also see signing in Boston as an opportunity to be a major piece on a storied franchise.
A healthy Oden, Rondo, Bradley, Sullinger and Green is quite the defensive starting five. Depending on what the Celtics do with all their upcoming draft picks or any other deals Danny Ainge has up his sleeve, if Oden can wait out a couple mediocre years, he could find himself on a contender as a starter instead of on the bench on a contender right now.