Another season ending injury for Oden. I hope he gets well soon and can get back to basketball. Now to my thoughts.
The future of the Blazer franchise is on the line. If the Blazer's don't treat Oden well, keep him on the roster and foster his career then the Blazer franchise will become a backwater. We've dumped Pendergraph because the timing of his injury unfortunately made that possible, but Oden is not Pendergraph.
If the Blazer's don't bring Oden back no quality player will come to Portland via trade or free agency. They don't really consider it now, and if we let Oden go because of his injury history, Portland will certainly never be considered as a destination of the likes of LeBron, Wade, Kobe, etc. Why would they? It wouldn't be the money that kept them away, it would be the venue and the quality of the management.
I here grousing about the amount of money being offered. But be certain of this: defensive rebounding wins championships and if the Heat had even a half a season of Oden and that half included the playoffs they would win the next five NBA championships. Oden is that important a player.
Consider: in all of the Portland losses this season defensive rebounding has been the key. Less than 30 defensive rebounds means a very low probability of winning. When Pryzbilla returns our defensive rebounding will improve but it won't necessarily be consistent when we play in the playoffs. A healthty Oden would give two good defensive rebounding big men making our defensive rebounding as constant as any team in the league. The other advantage: it would allow Camby to spell Aldridge at power forward.
This is the nail that will pound the nail in the Blazer coffin: after the lock out year a recovered Oden will be a Laker, or Celtic or Heat player. And if any of them win a NBA championship with any kind of Oden contribution then there will be a pox on our franchise.
The franchise must keep Oden until he proves himself as a player or until it is clear that he is physically unable to play in the NBA.