If you’re compiling a list of the biggest NBA draft busts, there’s a good that Greg Oden would be featured prominently. The No. 1 overall selection in 2007 has been ravaged by injuries and hasn’t taken the court since 2009.
But the seven-foot center is mulling a comeback, and the Celtics are reportedly one of several teams giving Oden serious consideration.
Sam Amico of FOXSports.com puts Boston alongside the Heat, Mavericks and Cavaliers as the frontrunners to possibly sign the former Portland Trailblazer, who at only 24 years old still has the potential for a long NBA career.
The question mark is — as it has always been with the big man — whether Oden’s knees can survive the grind of a full season. He was unable to do so with the Blazers, undergoing three microfracture knee surgeries that caused him to miss the entire 2007-08, 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons before being officially waived in May. He’s appeared in just 82 games in his career.
In an interview with WEEI this week, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said that team has not made any offers to Oden but has been following his progress.
“We’re monitoring Greg, like all NBA teams are, but we have not attempted to sign him,” Ainge said. “But we are monitoring him and having [conversations] with his people just to see where he is.”
Oden is reportedly eyeing late February as a possible return date.