Greg Oden Wants to Play in the NBA Next Season

by July 13, 2012

Greg Oden’s agent continues to push the idea that his client is ready to resume his NBA career. Per Fox Sports: “Injury-riddled Greg Oden could be returning to the NBA this season. That’s the word from Oden’s agent, Mike Conley, who got a call earlier this week from Oden. He said his client has changed his tune from wanting to take this season off. ‘(Oden) called me, and he was kind of excited,’ Conley said. ‘I think he’s motivated …. He wants to play. He had said he wanted to take this season off, but he’s backed off from that …. He’s open to playing this season. I think he will play this season.’ Oden, the star-crossed center who was taken No. 1 in the 2007 NBA draft by Portland ahead of No. 2 Kevin Durant, hasn’t played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009. Out of 394 possible games in his NBA career, he’s missed 312. Oden has had five surgeries on both his knees since entering the NBA, including two surgeries last February, one being his third microfracture procedure. He was waived by the Trail Blazers last March, making him a free agent. Oden was quoted in a Grantland article last May about his plan to take the entire 2012-13 season off. But Oden told Conley this week about the change in his thinking. ‘He’s starting to work out,’ Conley said of Oden, who was recently cleared for workouts, feeling better about his situation. ‘He’s excited. You can tell he’s getting antsy. At the end of the day, I want him to finish out his NBA career. He’s still pretty young (24).’ Conley, who said the former Ohio State star is committed to regular workouts this summer in Columbus, Ohio, said there’s still no timetable as to what point next season he believes Oden will be able to play. He said seven NBA teams, which he declined to name, have been keeping in regular touch with him, but Conley doesn’t anticipate it will be until the fall before there are any serious negotiations. ‘We want to get to the point where he’s more healthy and can show teams what he can do (in workouts),’ Conley said. ‘There’s still no timetable, and that’s the beauty of him being on his own. He doesn’t have to give anybody a timetable.'”