So much of the future planning (trade and draft talk) I see on here seems to be based upon the assumption that Greg Oden will...
1) Realize potential that we see flashes of, but has yet to sustain.
2) Will be a Blazer beyond the terms of his rookie contract.
The second point will, no doubt, be misconstrued by some as blasphemy, but think about it. There are a few ways this could go.
1) He could be an all-star and a Blazer for years.
2) He could never live up to his #1 pick expectations and be a Blazer for years.
3) He could be an all-star and seek another team (either a bigger market or a midwestern team).
4) He could never live up to his #1 pick expectations and seek another team.
I should say that I really like Greg Oden, the man and the player, and hope that option #1 becomes reality and that he is the grand-freaking-marshal of many June parades in the near future.
I am of the opinion, based on what I see and hear from him, that he will walk after his rookie contract. I don't hear him talking Portland up (when asked in an interview with an Indiana radio station about what there was to do in PDX, he replied with what amounted to the generic "outdoorsy" answer, and followed that up by telling the interviewer that he wasn't that into outdoor activities) and I don't see him having a blast out on the floor either.
Shortly after being drafted, you'll remember, he appeared with Justin Timberlake at the ESPY's. . It was right after the draft, and he seemed happy in the spotlight. I wonder if he misses that kind of attention and exposure, seeing as the positivity and promise of that moment has given way to a much more negative national image, wherein he is constantly criticized and over-analyzed.
And, of course, he doesn't seem to want to be in Portland unless he is contractually obligated to be during the off season. I get that he is young, and that it's normal to want to go home after a long season, but I would have liked to hear a thing or two from him this year about how hard he was going to work on his footwork, or his bad habit of bringing the ball down low, or his defensive tendencies and fixing the foul problems. He gets paid a lot for his craft and honing it, in my opinion, should be priority 1a, next to getting that degree. I will clarify that I don't think that he won't work hard in the off-season, but it would have been nice, as a fan, to hear it from his mouth.
It'll break my heart if he leaves, and the organization will have gotten little to nothing from the lightning that struck in 2007.
Which brings me around to my point.
Most of my complaints about Greg have been uttered before, but I think the rational fan (and team management, for that matter) has got to look at the possibilities of him either leaving or not being the player we hoped, in moving forward with draft prep and in potential trade scenarios. If he wants to leave, how do we salvage some value from that 2007 draft, and if he had "peaked" as a player (however unlikely) are we OK with that, long term. I'd really like to know what other people think about this, other than that you think I am a jerk for bringing this up.
Here's a poll for pollsake, and post what you thing about his potential, work ethic and commitment to staying in P-Town.
Greg Oden will...
Be a Blazer and an All Star for many more years (240 votes)
Be an All Star but for another team after his rookie contract expires. (24 votes)
Never llive up to his #1 pick potential, and stay a Blazer (49 votes)
Never live up to his #1 pick potential and play for another team after his rookie contract expires. (31 votes)
Other (with comment) (13 votes)
357 total votes