Jun 29

Ball in Oden's Court Now

By mikebarrett Posted in: GregOden
So far, in his young basketball career, not much has gone as planned for Greg Oden.  If you believe in karma you would most certainly believe that good things surely have to lie ahead.

The Trail Blazers are obviously banking on that, as late Wednesday afternoon they tendered Oden a qualifying offer which will make him a restricted free agent.  The team had until Thursday night at midnight Eastern Time to extend the offer.

But, even the seemingly-simple process of extending the offer, turned out to be a bumpy road.

"We didn't want to just file paperwork with the league and have Greg receive notification through his representatives," said Trail Blazers acting general manager Chad Buchanan.  "I wanted to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and let him know how much we believe in him."

I was made aware of how this was supposed to go down on Wednesday afternoon.  But, when the time came, and passed, I shot a phone call to Buchanan to see how things went.  Oden was in Colorado for a routine appointment with his knee specialist and would be returning to the Denver airport in the afternoon for a return flight to Los Angeles where he has been working out.
Buchanan, Mike Born, and Joe Cronin had planned to fly to the Denver airport, meet with Greg, and turn around and fly home.  They had a decent window of opportunity to connect with Oden, but a wrench was tossed into the plan when thunderstorms blew into the Denver area.  Buchanan and company learned their flight was being diverted to Colorado Springs, just before landing.

When I finally talked to Chad he was scrambling to catch a connecting flight into Denver and was still hopeful to catch Oden.  Our call was cut short because the door to their new flight was being closed, just as they were getting seated.  Fortunately, in this case, Oden's flight back to L.A. was delayed, due to that same weather system, and it gave them the opportunity to quickly meet before both parties departed again.

"It would have been disappointing for the three of us to fly down there, and then not be able to see him," said Buchanan.  "It didn't exactly go as planned, obviously, but in the end we got it done the way we wanted it to.  We got to see him and tell him how much we believed in him.  Greg was extremely excited and appreciative that we came down in person to present this.  We just thought it was important to do it this way, even though it didn't exactly go smoothly because of the weather."

Buchanan, who added that head athletic trainer Jay Jensen is with Oden, said he has been in constant contact with Oden during this process.

"I think Greg is very happy that we've tendered this offer," said Buchanan.  "He's very excited about it.  He understands the commitment we're making by offering his contract." 

To clear up any confusion about this process, the qualifying offer was the maximum the Trail Blazers were allowed offer.  The window to offer him a multi-year deal closed last October.  After July 1, under current CBA rules, the Trail Blazers would be allowed to offer a multi-year deal, or match any offer from another NBA team. 

Oden, 23, hasn't played in a game for the Trail Blazers since December of 2009 when he suffered a fractured left patella.  At the time of the injury, Oden was averaging 11.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks. 

He missed all of last season after having microfracture surgery on his left knee in November.

Also on Wednesday, the Trail Blazers extended a qualifying offer to Patty Mills, and exercised third-year options on Luke Babbitt and Elliot Williams.
Previous Story: A New Point


  1. Woohoo! Great news. Now, we just got to get him for a few more years. I still believe in him and Roy. You just cannot let anyone with that potential go away, especially with how rare players like Oden are.

    by Herr on 6/29/2011 3:49 PM
  2. So... It's a max QO? Not just the 1 year?

    by BlazerWookiee on 6/29/2011 3:52 PM
  3. The one-year QO is the max they could offer.

    by mikebarrett on 6/29/2011 3:54 PM
  4. Thank you mike: Great news, but was expected, I am thrilled at Patty getting a QO to at least compete for a spot in training camp.

    by Hg on 6/29/2011 4:25 PM
  5. Armon is on a two year contract so him and Mills might be fighting for the last spot.

    by Hg on 6/29/2011 4:26 PM
  6. is babbit starting to show nate some talent? i didnt see much when he was put in this last year, but hopefully he can develope into a great player. but now all oden has to do is accept the offer right?

    by Stephen Brady on 6/29/2011 4:35 PM
  7. Extending the offer to Mills doesn't mean they'll keep him even if he accepts.

    As I understand it in late July they could offer Oden a longer contract. I would like to see him offered a three yr. with incentives for number of games played and a 4th option year. I don't know that they could do that but that would be what I would hope for.

    by Ancientone on 6/29/2011 5:28 PM
  8. Mike, you're correct that the 1 Year Qualifying Offer for Greg can only be $8.79 million and is not open for negotiation. That offer cannot be for more money.

    However, under Article XI, Section 4 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, at the same time that they made the one year Qualifying Offer, the Blazers could also have simultaneously offered what is called a Maximum Qualifying Offer, which would have been a 6 year offer for the maximum salary allowed (with maximum raises), fully guaranteed with no options. Of course, the specifics of this offer would have been adjusted based on the rules of the new CBA, but it would still represent the maximum contract amount that Greg could earn.

    The Maximum Qualifying Offer is rarely offered, so it's not well known. And the Blazers were by no means obligated to offer it. But it was an option for the team and it would have represented a far larger contract offer than the 1 year Qualifying Offer.


    by Storyteller on 6/29/2011 5:34 PM
  9. Also, you're right on in saying that any other offers from either the Blazers or any other team must wait until after July 1st and after the rules of the new CBA are established.

    by Storyteller on 6/29/2011 5:36 PM
  10. Thanks Mike,
    Looks like things are starting to take shape. Some questions answered. Possibilities yet to be realized. Excitement in blazer land. Fun watching it evolve. My biggest wish is for 82 regular season games. GO BLAZERS !!!

    by Divotking on 6/29/2011 6:12 PM
  11. Excelllent news! And just as I said I expect/hope next the Blazers will offer Oden a 4 year deal. First things first.


    by mgb on 6/29/2011 6:34 PM
  12. mgb : Hope you are right

    by Ancientone on 6/29/2011 7:07 PM
  13. i had pretty much expected the team to extend Greg an offer, but i think it's also encouraging to see Patty receive it too. obviously, we don't know the end result yet, but it's a good sign. so much is up in the air right now because of the cba. however, here's my take.

    we are undoubtedly looking at a trade to bring in a big man, and having more resources to offer only gives us that much more flexibility with what we can offer. granted, i don't think Greg will be traded, but trying to retain he and Patty should be an indication there is some sort of master plan.

    most of us want Greg back and eventually signed to a multi-year deal (still sticking to my 2-year, 3rd and 4th year options as my recommendation). i also know there are a lot of fans who will be upset if Patty is one of those to go. i mean really, who doesn't want an australian on the team.

    i also think the options on Luke and Elliot are to the same end. i've heard the team is high on Luke's potential and it seems they want to see what Elliot can do on the court (i do too)

    i understand this is a long process and contingent on the cba and offers from other teams and so on and so forth. these moves are good news but, at this point, i'm willing to only call it a good start.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 6/29/2011 7:14 PM
  14. Whew! So glad to have Greg and Patty back. I can hardly wait to see Greg play again, he is such a force on the court and soooo important to our team's future!

    by DeVinMzM on 6/29/2011 7:36 PM
  15. GO is great! Chances for Portland to bring home their second championship in the near future depend on Greg being healthy and on the team.

    I really appreciate Greg's dedication as well. To most of us, just one of these injuries would have devastated us. Greg has done three! Even though he has earned, what? about $25M and likely is fixed for life, Greg is still about basketball and about keeping faith with Portland. Keep with it, big man. You are truly special.

    by lee3022 on 6/29/2011 7:38 PM
  16. I'm happy that we did the smart thing. Now we need Pent. back in uniform. Word has him looking big and strong. He's a good fit for our team.

    Now! I know I might make a few peeps upset with what I'm about to say, but! I'm going to say it anyway.

    What's up with Raymond Felton! He's Fat and totally out of shape. He's not working on his shot, posting up, or anything else. Who told him he has the keys?
    He has to prove himself first. That means being in shape and leading by example! He talks a good game but I'm not going all in on this one. He's one and done. Then we go after D. Williams.

    by civilhold on 6/29/2011 10:12 PM
  17. civilhold,

    This is a contract year for Ray so expect him to work himself into shape and have a good year. Then after we sign him to a big contract he'll get fat and lazy. :)

    by mgb on 6/29/2011 10:40 PM
  18. Very true Mgb LMAO. That is why the players or in trouble with the guaranteed contract. In that respect I don't blame the owners, because that makes the fan's grouchy and they won't buy tickets.

    by Hg on 6/29/2011 10:55 PM
  19. I'm laughing in my boots. I love this site! MGB you hit it on the spot!

    by civilhold on 6/29/2011 11:08 PM
  20. Great, we got Patty back..now we have 1,574 pg's playing on the team. We love our log jams!! As long as at least two of these guards produce, I don't mind. The ones who don't, drop them, Australian or no.

    Go G.O.!!!!

    by L.T.G on 6/29/2011 11:26 PM
  21. I was surprise we seem to pickup everyone, but then it hit me we must have a trade in the works or what are we going to do with all these guards?

    by mgb on 6/30/2011 12:32 AM
  22. Keep Wesley, Roy, Smith, and Williams and I'm happy. I'm thrilled for Patty, but he's only getting some love at this point. (this is as far as guards go, as to what mgb said about the guards). I don't expect Patty to be a Blazer, and that wouldn't hurt me. I like Mills. Great person on and off the court, but I trusted him with the ball as much as I trusted the Cavs on winning a championship this season. I like Smith, I think he's in. I like Williams, the guys been practicing ever since he could walk after his surgery. Roy, without question, we need him, and it showed in the playoffs. MB hit it on the spot when he said you need Roy. Simply because LaMarcus is not ready yet to be a closer. He has closer abilities, but I also lose confidence in him when he takes a jumpshot at the end of games. He'll develop that though, but for now, you need Roy. Not to mention, he has earned his spot, regardless if he's a benchwarmer or not. I'm a realistic fan, and know it's all about business, but Roy literally saved this franchise, and it disgusts me that people want to trade him. No way in Hell!. Wesley and Felton - no question. They're important players to this team.

    by Herr on 6/30/2011 2:36 AM
  23. We need a PF to back up LA! LA can't play another year at 40+ minutes per game. Now that we all hope this team will be running with the new PG, we just might bring back the RED HOT AND ROLLING!
    Someone please explain to me the threat of a lock out. What does a lock out do for the owners. I understand the players have more to lose, I Think! What's the hold up? Doesn't look like the Fans have any pull!

    by civilhold on 6/30/2011 4:25 AM
  24. It was said that Patty was just offered a contract so he could participate in training camp and compete for a spot. they would not match anybody else's QO. He does have the rights to compete with the new guards and maybe Armon. Storyteller said Armon's contract the second year was guaranteed, others says it isn't. Either way they can trade Armon and keep Patty or drop patty since his is just a QO.

    I am with you MGB, I think some of the guards will be traded. Chad said that 3iabler may be groomed over seas. 3blur(a fast 3 pt shooter) Patty. may not be signed. I think we keep at PG, Felton, Smith(if he works out as expected) and Patty/Arman. Shooting guard, BRoy, Wesley, Williams. SF, Batum, Wallace and Babbitt. PF, LMA, LMA, LMA, no and Chris. C, Camby and Greg. that leaves to spots on the roster for PF and C.

    Nate said that he thought Batum would play some 2gd for defensive purposes to shore up our perimeter Defense. IMO,LMA will play center a lot until Greg gets back, but with the looming lock-out that may not be long. and after that when Nate wants to go small. Of course if we could get Pendy back, him and Chris can play fast ball also.

    I know too much down time, too much dreaming and too many hopes.

    by Hg on 6/30/2011 5:10 AM
  25. Don't forget that we do have an excellent 3 shooter. BRoy can pop the three with the best of them. If his mobility returns could we have a big 4 (Roy, Wallace, Oden and LMA)?

    I'm still dreaming about another big or two.

    by Ancientone on 6/30/2011 5:45 AM
  26. @Ancientone: Mike and Mike said on court side that lots of fans has forgotten about BRoy, but they had better UN-forget, Last year he was at the most 70% this year around 90%. That will get his mobility back. Matthews played the last half of the year with a torn tendon that was swollen and he lost movement and feeling in his toes. PRP worked on him so he should be as good as new and can probably pop the three more consistently. So if not BRoy in the big 4, it could be Matthews. but having BRoy, Batum, Johnson and Camby coming off the bench that would give us a super big 8 and that is not counting Felton and maybe Smith.

    by Hg on 6/30/2011 5:58 AM
  27. We need to sign him long term.

    by mbmurr1 on 6/30/2011 7:48 AM
  28. @mbmurr 1. they did what the needed to do, they want him long term, but how much do you offer him with the lock-out looming and him in rehab. If they offer a lot and he don't get full recovery then we have another contract like everybody is crying about with BRoy, If they offer him to little he would just wait to see what others have to offer. IMO, they will wait until they see what the market value is and match that offer. and nobody will know that until after the lock-out. Until then because of the QO we have first dibs on him.

    by Hg on 6/30/2011 8:29 AM
  29. That is great that they wanted to give the QO to GO in person.

    by Hg on 6/30/2011 8:39 AM
  30. Cleveland could make a play for Greg and Evan Turner

    by Ralph Streza on 6/30/2011 12:01 PM
  31. Mike: Nate always says uptempo starts on defense and rebounding, and of course that showed up against the Mavs. they just made it a point not to turn the ball over and to get the rebounds. I was thinking if we had GO for rebounding we could do a lot more running. I loved your answer. that is what I have been thinking, plus LMA could be the 4 in an uptempo game and Wallace the 3 Batum or Wesley the 2 with Felton as the PG. Wow that gives me goose bumps. In fact that might well be our starting 5 eventually.

    by Hg on 6/30/2011 12:21 PM
  32. I am definitely happy about this news. I for one, still believe in Oden. Others around the league may not, but he's kept fighting and it's not over til it's over. So I hope that he never gives up, unless it's clearly obvious his body is not up for it.
    That is a great move by the team in how they decided to go through this process, weather aside, nicely done. I can't imagine GO in any other jersey and I sincerely hope that never happens.

    by Anees on 6/30/2011 1:30 PM
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