Ziller: Kings Should Offer Blazers C Greg Oden $30 Million

Tom Ziller of writes that the Sacramento Kings should pursue Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden once the NBA free agency period opens. Ziller cites the possibility of a multi-year amnesty clause as a reason that Oden might be a worthwhile risk. ------------------------------ The amnesty clause reportedly being negotiated into the NBA lockout deal will, according to Marc Stein, be valid for up to two years. The Kings don't have a great amnesty candidate right now. The extended period of use helps, because the Kings could in theory take on a nasty contract to get a real gem, then use the amnesty clause on the nasty contract. OR ... the Kings could bring in a big risk like Oden, try him out for a (half-)season or two, and cut their losses. The existence of the extended amnesty clause is a huge mitigation of the gamble that is inherent in Oden. Thanks to the amnesty clause and the Kings' continued youth, if Oden doesn't work out by next season, the Kings can "re-acquire" their cap space for a better free agent class. Holding an amnesty clause (assuming it ends up as described by Stein) during this free agent period is basically like having the ability to turn any free agent's contract -- for cap purposes -- like a contract that includes team options after Year 1 and Year 2. If it were my money and job -- it is decidely not, on either account -- I'd drop a three-year, $30 million contract on Oden's doorstep. That allows you to keep Marcus Thornton, gives you room to extend either J.J. Hickson or Jason Thompson in a year's time and let's you roll the dice on a former No. 1 pick. ------------------------------ Oden is set to be a restricted free agent after the Blazers tendered him an $8.8 million qualifying offer back in June. Oden said this week that he is able to run again roughly 11 months after undergoing microfracture surgery. -- Ben Golliver | | Twitter