Guess who wants back in the NBA? Greg Oden, who hardly has been in the league since being the 2007 overall No. 1 draft pick of the Portland Trail Blazers, is feeling feisty because his wrecked knees feel better than they have in a long time. Whether that translates into resuming his career, however, is another thing altogether.
“(Oden) called me, and he was kind of excited,” Mike Conley Sr., his agent, said in a phone interview with FOX Sports Florida. “I think he’s motivated. . . He wants to play. He had said he wanted to take this season off, but he’s backed off from that. He’s open to playing this season. I think he will play this season.”
Oden, 24, has played in just 82 games in his career. The 7-footer was drafted with the top choice with the idea that he would be the centerpiece of the franchise and at least a defensive star for years. But he has had one knee injury after another that have kept him on the sidelines.
Back in February, after another setback, it was discovered that Oden’s knee was not even strong enough to be operated on. The Portland Trail Blazers officially released him in March, as they geared up to rebuild the franchise. Later, Oden revealed that his inaction and frustration in Portland led him to drink too much.
Although Oden has avoided interviews, Conley has not. In the past he has intimated that Oden would be interested in signing with the Miami Heat.
And he raised that prospect again.
“Obviously, if the Heat wanted him, who wouldn’t want to play for the Heat?” Conley said. “That goes without saying. They have roster spots and a need (at center). But it’s too early to say about where he might play.”
For now, Conley said Oden is as excited as he’s been in a long time. He pointed out that Oden called him unsolicited, which is an expression of his committed interest.
“He’s going to sign somewhere,” Conley said. “He’s going to get healthy and be coming back.”