9.13.2007

Portland Trailblazers lose golden child Greg Oden


What does Portland Trailblazers GM Kevin Pritchard regret the most? The fact that Greg Oden didn't pay attention to his recurrent knee pain earlier this summer, leading to his microfracture knee surgery and the news that he will miss his entire rookie season. Taking Oden ahead of the supremely talented wing player Kevin Durant. Or, trading away 20-10 guy Zach Randolph, which, given Oden's current state, leaves Portland with the worst front-line in the NBA -- one that's perhaps less deep than some college teams.

Whatever the case, microfracture surgery is no small matter. NBA players Kenyon Martin and Chris Webber both had the surgery and became a shell of their former selves post-surgery. On the other side of the spectrum, Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns seems to have made a full recovery, returning to his All-Star caliber performance levels last season. Oden is young, so all things being equal, he probably has a pretty decent shot at recovering fully. But, it's going to take a lot of drive and hard work from the young center.

One thing is for sure, the Seattle Sonics, who picked Kevin Durant with the second pick in last season's draft, must be feeling pretty good right about now.

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