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The Early Lead
Posted at 01:28 PM ET, 03/16/2012

Greg Oden released; is his NBA career over?


Greg Oden on Tuesday. (Michael Conroy / AP)
This is just sad.

Greg Oden, who was the No. 1 pick out of Ohio State by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2007 NBA Draft, was released by the team Thursday.

Oden, who is all of 24, has had three microfracture surgeries on his knee and always seems to be on crutches. The 7-foot center managed to play only 1,816 minutes over 82 games in that five-year span, averaging 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

Oden’s release, which came on the same day that Coach Nate McMillan was fired and Marcus Camby was traded, is occasion for pointing out that the Trail Blazers could have had Kevin Durant, the No. 2 pick who has played 13,530 minutes (through Wednesday). And, yes, the Blazers took Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in 1984 and LaRue Martin over Bob McAdoo in 1972.

Maybe Oden will get a chance with another team. Although he can be claimed on waivers, he won’t be able to play until next season.

“We will be in no rush,” Oden’s agent said in a statement. “The first priority is Greg's health.”

What are the chances Oden plays again?

By  |  01:28 PM ET, 03/16/2012

 
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