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Ford: Greg Oden Is No. 5 Restricted Free Agent

On Wednesday, the Portland Trail Blazers announced that they had tendered a Qualifying Offer to center Greg Oden, making him a restricted free agent. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks Oden as the No. 5 restricted free agent on the market, trailing Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey and Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young. -------------------------------------- Saying that Oden is a huge question mark is the understatement of the year. Right now, he's making Sam Bowie look like an iron man. He has already had three major surgeries and will have played a total of just 82 games in four seasons. But when he has played, he's shown signs of stardom. In the 21 games he played in 2009-10, before a broken kneecap ended his season, he was sporting a whopping 23.14 player efficiency rating. If Oden can ever get healthy -- and it's a huge "if" at this point -- he still has time to become a dominant NBA big man (he just turned 23 years old). I'm not surprised that the Blazers took the risk of offering him a qualifying offer. They've invested so much already, I'm not sure they can give up on him now. -------------------------------------- -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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