Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst ESPN are reporting that former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden is working out with hopes to return to the NBA. Oden, who has been marred by knee injuries, has not played since December 5, 2009. The 24 year old had micro fracture surgery, his third, on his left knee last February. He played in 82 games over two years with the Portland Trail Blazers while averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Oden does not plan to return this year. In order to ensure that is return is a healthy one, Oden will take the rest of the season to workout in Columbus, Ohio (he went to Ohio State) before hopefully making a return in the fall. The 7’0” free agent is on teams’ radars now because he will likely get signed before the summer and allowed to workout under team supervision at team facilities over the summer.
The Sixers already have a center with bad knees, why do they need another? First and foremost, at the right price, taking a flier on a guy with upside like Oden is low-risk, moderate/high-reward. Also, Oden would help the 76ers on the glass immediately. The Sixers are getting out-rebounded this year 1,631-to-1,530, an average of 44.1-41.4 per game. Thad Young and Evan Turner leader the Sixers in rebounding with 261 and 248 rebounds. They are 33rd and 39th in the NBA, respectively. Unfortunately the league leader is Dwight Howard who has a whopping 410 rebounds despite playing in four fewer games than Young and Turner.
The cost of Oden is not expected to be high and it would be worthwhile for the 76ers give it a shot because, right now, it does not look like it can get worse for the Sixers front court.
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