Former No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden may get another chance with a NBA team.
RealGM is reporting that the Memphis Grizzlies are looking into the possibility of having Oden attend their veteran free agent camp in June.
“The Memphis Grizzlies have explored center Greg Oden, expressing interest in the recent past with a workout in the spring. The Grizzlies will potentially bring in the former No. 1 overall NBA pick to a free-agent camp in June.”
It makes sense that the Grizzlies are looking at bringing in the 27-year-old center for a look-see since last year’s starter, Marc Gasol, and his backup, Kosta Koufos, will be unrestricted free agents on July 1. Memphis does not currently have another center on their roster though Zach Randolph has the ability to play there for spurts.
Also, Oden is reportedly close to Mike Conley as they were teammates at Ohio State.
The 30-year-old Gasol is expected to return to the Griz but Koufos, 27, likely will not as he is expected to be offered the chance of a bigger role — possibly even starting next year –by a numer of teams. Orlando, Sacramento, and Boston are believed to be interested in prying Koufos away from Memphis according to Euro Hoops.
Oden sat out this past season after playing in 23 games for the Miami Heat in 2013-14. Oden averaged 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.2 minutes of action. He also shot 55.1 percent from the field.
Nothing can be hurt by the Griz bringing Oden into their veteran’s camp. The issue will come if Oden performs well in the camp. If he does pass the Grizzly’s tests, they will have to weigh his contract — the only way Memphis should even think about signing Oden is for a non-guaranteed or partially-guaranteed contract for the veteran minimum — and the amount of baggage he brings both on and off-the-court.
Regardless whether the Griz ultimately decide to sign the injury prone 7-footer, they will need a backup for Gasol or a starter if, for some reason, Gasol unexpectedly decides to bolt. The Griz, who should have a lot of cap room even after resigning Gasol, will have lots of options. One of the options Memphis has include, as suggested by Fansided.com, is trading for Mason Plumlee.
Other options Memphis has is via the free agent market, or possible trades is Jerome Jordan (Brooklyn Nets, RFA), Bismack Biyombo (Charlotte, RFA), Jordan Hill (Los Angeles Lakers, Team Option), Alexis Ajinca (URA), Cole Aldrich (URA), Jason Smith (URA), and Justin Hamilton (RFA, Minnesota).
The Griz could look for a backup in the draft. Memphis has the No. 25 pick. If the Griz look for a center in the draft, Dakari Johnson (Kentucky), Robert Upshaw (Washington), and Rakeem Christmas (Syracuse) should be available.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)