ESPN.com reports that the Portland Trailblazers will choose Greg Oden first in this yearâ€™s NBA draft. The choice was between Ohio State freshman star center Oden and freshman small forward Kevin Durant from the Texas Longhorns. Durant won just about every college award possible prior to declaring for the draft.
In 2006 -07 Oden averaged 15.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG and 3.3 BPG. He shot 62% from the floor and 63% from the foul line. Heâ€™s 19 years old. Durant, who is 18 years old, averaged 25.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.9 SPG, 1.9 BPG, 47% FG, 82% FT and 40% 3P.
Durant is 6â€™ 10â€? and Oden is 7â€™ 0â€?. Thereâ€™s concern over Durantâ€™s size. Once he adds about 15 to 20 pounds, including some muscle, heâ€™ll be able to mix it up in the big leagues. Oden has the bulk and muscle to battle but presently lacks the killer instinct required for full throttle NBA play.
Portland, which has the first pick in the 2007 draft, finished the 2006 season 32- 50 (.390). They were 35 games behind first-place Dallas and 10 games out of making the final playoff spot.
Portlandâ€™s center last season was seven-year veteran Jamaal Magloire. The 6â€™ 11â€?, 265- pound center is 29 years old and has played for four different NBA teams. Currently, he earns $8.4 million. Magloire played in 81 games for the Trailblazers this season, scoring 6.5 PPG and grabbing 6.1 RPG. He played an average of 21 MPG. He shot 50% from the field and 54% from the free throw line. He also had .81 BPG and .26 SPG.
LaMarcus Aldridge played forward/center for the Blazers, averaging 22.1 MPG while scoring 9.0 PPG, grabbing 5 RPG and making 1.2 BPG.
Various other players manned the spot during the year, but Portland just doesnâ€™t have that go-to, strong, dependable guy upfront. The fact is that you can build a franchise around Oden.
So how much is Oden worth? Is Portland making the right move? Should they be taking Durant? Will either become a true impact player? Which will mature more quickly? Stay tuned and put your two cents in on the 2007 NBA draft. The NBA is not that far away.