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Sunday Discussion: Independence Day?

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From the moment they made him the #1 pick in the 2007 draft the Portland Trail Blazers hitched their wagon to Greg Oden.  That's not a bad thing.  As we've said numerous times (a refrain that is starting to be repeated nationally) Oden doesn't have to be a Hakeem Olajuwon/Patrick Ewing level star in order for the Blazers to succeed and contend.  He only needs to be good...great on the boards, solid defensively, and not completely inept on offense.

But let's pretend that doesn't happen.  Let's say Oden spends the rest of his career injured or turns out to be this generation's version of Joe Barry Carroll, a seven-footer who frittered away his boundless talent and earned the nickname "Joe Barely Cares" playing for five teams in ten seasons in the league.  Is there any way possible the Blazers can declare independence from Oden and still contend?  What do you see as this team's future in the worst-case Oden scenario?  How far could they go?

Note that I'm not talking about trades for Greg.  Just answer assuming that his contributions approach zero and judge the team's chances from there.  Register your thoughts below.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)