Former number 1 overall pick Greg Oden has been plagued by injuries his NBA career and he's determined to make a comeback from his third microfracture surgery. Many teams are already rumored to be interested in him as his potential is looked on as being one of the best big men of the game, if he can stay healthy. The Miami Heat are looking to pursue him because of their defensive woes, but that may not be the easiest decision for the franchise as they're likely to be over the luxury tax until the 2015-2016 season and the new collective bargaining agreement will be tough against repeat offenders.
San Antonio Spurs fans have been wanting the team to sign a legitimate big man to help Tim Duncan get a fifth championship ring and have been excited about the signing of Europe's best big man in Aron Baynes. With Baynes reportedly on board, should the Spurs go after Greg Oden? Even though the team doesn't have any roster spots open, there's plenty of possibilities for the Spurs that make an Oden signing realistic depending on which route the organization wants to go.
With Baynes joining the team, this will mean the Spurs will have to make room by waiving or trading a player. The logical candidate for this would have to be Dejuan Blair, who hasn't seen many minutes this season with Tiago Splitter improving and bringing what Dejuan does to the starting unit. Boris Diaw's versatility makes him an obvious candidate for the third big slot in the rotation with Matt Bonner's shooting bumping him over Blair. Once room is made for Baynes, the Spurs have would to be in the same situation for Oden. The team will have a free agent in the big position with Tiago Splitter finishing off his first deal. If Aron makes an impression on the team, Splitter will easily be replaceable especially with a $4.9 million qualifying offer. That would leave the Spurs with a roster spot for Oden and also possibly more money to offer him to lure him from other contenders (depending how much Manu Ginobili and Stephen Jackson demand if they return to the team).
Another scenario is the team using their amnesty clause, but that wouldn't be too realistic since the likely candidate for that would be Matt Bonner. Bonner is due $3.9 million next season and would best be used as trade bait with his expiring deal over just letting him go and still counting against the salary cap. With a Splitter departure, Bonner could fill in while Oden is rehabbing or slowly getting back into shape. Oden's future in a Spurs uniform will depend on Tiago Splitter most of all. If Splitter will take a reasonable deal, he may be wearing a Spurs jersey next year and there'd be no minutes for Oden in a San Antonio jersey. Tiago playing well this season shouldn't be too much of a shock either. He's in a contract year and trying to inflate his worth as much as he can. The team may be thinking about this too and may balk at bringing him back, which would leave the door for a Greg Oden debut in silver and black if he wants to play next to a former number one pick and the greatest power forward of all time in Tim Duncan.
Why would the Spurs need to make room for Aron Baynes? They have 14 players. Maximum of 15 players on a team or did the rules change and I didn't hear about it? If the Spurs wanted to add Greg Oden too then I could see them having to get rid of someone as they would be over their rosters max. As far as Tiago Splitter, why would they not want him on their team? That doesn't make sense to let him go for Greg Oden especially with the way he's been playing lately. Can Oden play a full season? Any team wanting him is taking a risk. I can understand the Spurs wanting Centers, but I wouldn't think they would want to give up valuable players that can help their team for a guy who has only played 82 games in 5 seasons. Makes no sense whatsoever.
The Spurs know what Splitter can do and can't do. Oden is untested and injury prone. Presently, the Spurs have Only 2 players over 6'10". Diaw is 6'8" and so is Jackson. Both are "stretch" power forwards. If it is true that Baynes is coming in, for a long long time the Spurs have not had a legitimate center. There be 3 over 6'10" now. So the roster is complete at 15. Both Diaw and Jackson can return to their natural position as small forward. If we are talking of the future, when the contracts of Manu, Blair and Jackson expire and their contracts are not renewed, slots become available. But why take a risk? Oden has undergone 3 operations. It's not worth it. Plus, remember Donte Greene and those guys stashed abroad and next year draft.
Oden was not a very finished player when he got hurt. The likelihood that he will have the same athleticism is not great, so what you have left is Tiago, with a history of being hurt. Memories are funny things, hype seems to cloud or common sense. Of course , if Oden was still 20 and had good kness and had been developing a 17ft jumpers, or grreat post moves, bye, bye Tiago, but non of this fantasy is real.
I really don't think Splitter leaves next year unless a team makes an Omer Asik style deal that Tiago cannot refuse. The Spurs have the money to resign him even at a high price. At this point though, Splitter is not really replaceable. His passing and incredible FT turnaround have made him work well with Duncan finally. Tiago's finally taking the initiative offensively and even throwing in some of Duncan's post moves this year! Really an unbelievable turnaround from last year where Tiago was tentative about putting the ball up b/c of his free throw woes.
As one of Tiago's detractors this summer, I will say I was very wrong about him and his development this year really surprised me. All of this means that Tiago is not going to be simply replaced by old man Oden and his questionable health. From what I've been hearing, Oden is being heavily recruited by the Heat. I assume he will choose them unless other teams can make him a better offer (not likely b/c of his injury risk). So Jose, I don't think the Spurs should be looking to replace Tiago right now unless they plan on intentionally giving him the shaft this summer. Oden is a MAJOR risk that won't even be ready to play until next year. I say take a pass on Oden and stick with Tiago.
Intriguing at best. Possible, but not probable. Tiago is playing well because he is now more capable. He wants to be here in SA. He originally took a big hit in his first deal financially. Spurs wouldn't "balk" at him. They respect him for accepting that lesser deal and will reward him if he continues to improve and produce as he appears to be doing. Oden is a dream for many. I wish him well. Maybe a strong backup someday. He is still generally young age wise.
Can't really understand you Jose!I mean what are you talking about?Drop improving Tiago who's been in system for 3 yrs for a guy that's tottally unproven and can't stay healthy!??On the other side,it would be great to have him on a team as a tryout,but in that case give him vet.min. and if he takes that,good for us and good for him.If he prove,afterwards,that he can contribute,give him bigger deal,following year...
@MarioCavazos Maybe he had to get a junk checkup so he can continue sending out pics of it
Like he's not heading to Miami..He's wants a "slow" boogie. He gets that here in San Antonio. Oden has an ole soul..He looks like Malik Rose's Grandpa! LOL!
@WOWWOWBAD Heat will likely only have min $ to offer..IF he actually gets to a point where FOs think he is healthy enough again (doubtful), he will definitely get offers better than minimum. And 99% NBA ers go for the $.
@DifferentVSTheSame I agree with you because if this scenario were to actually happen then we would pretty much be giving up certainty for uncertainty. Also what do you think about a possible trade situation involving Blair, Bonner and maybe a pick for Al Jefferson from the Jazz? I think it would be a good deal if it can work.
@DifferentVSTheSame It's about how much teams offer TS. Remember just how many players are in contract year..manu, jax, TS, DJB, etc....TS will get some good offers. you can bank on that. And spurs do tend to like to keep an open roster spot before the trade deadline..Its smart to.
@TimJackson so ur saying you'd keep Splitter by matching a $10+ a mill contract when he's only excelled on a contract year?
@TimJackson What if other teams offer him 10 mil this summer? We have a lot of FAs and thats why TS MIGHT NOT stay. That said, I think he and Manu are the only FAs Spurs will try hard to keep and pay
@rtesoro440 take this for what it's worth:
Per @SamAmicoFSO article: “Others reportedly with a strong interest in Oden include Milwaukee, Chicago, Golden State and San Antonio.”with Baynes, Spurs don't have room for Donte Green anymore since SA will have to move Blair for Baynes. Ryan Richards isn't coming anytime soon with his immaturity and consistent quitting on teams.
@jojo707 you're looking at it from a Splitter vs. Oden standpoint and that's not what this article is about. This article is about the possibility of Oden joining the team if Tiago either commands too much or the team balks at paying him more than he's worth. With Duncan and Diaw next year, Baynes may have made Splitter expendable already anyway if Pop looks at him like a main contributor. that would leave one roster spot open, which could be used for a minimum contract experiment with Greg Oden.
@Spurs 4 life just a possibility. if Splitter over achieves on a contract year (something that happens a lot in the league), he might be too expensive to keep especially if a bad team offers him up a lot of money. also, Baynes might make Splitter expendable with that asking price. we're running a 3 big rotation right now anyway with occasional Jackson at the 4, so keeping all our bigs would probably not be the with the top 3 bigs (Duncan/Diaw/Splitter) getting the majority of the minutes and playing well without Pop moving pieces around too frequently.but like it implies, it's just a possibility. i'm not hoping for a Splitter departure.
@Spursfan66 And you think the Spurs can offer more than that? Be realistic, I know you guys dream about him being a successor for Timmy but it ain't easy.
@kingfonz21 I agree with you I think that's a good deal. But it won't work with Blair, Bonner and a draft pick. Both the Spurs and the Jazz roster's are full and neither have enough cap space. If it is possible I think we would have to get rid of one of our Big 3.
@Spursfan66 Manu may decide to retire, you never know. If other teams offer Tiago Splitter 10 mil then that's what they offer, doesn't mean he'll take it. Not all players go for the most money. Some prefer a decent contract with a team that looks like a contender for a championship. I agree Manu and Tiago would be heavily targeted by the Spurs, but I think they would also consider Gary Neal. May not spend a whole lot on Neal, but I could see the possibility of the Spurs wanting to bring him back. Especially if Manu decides to walk away from the NBA.
@Jose_G Why do the Spurs have to move Blair for Baynes? Spurs currently have 14 players on their roster. It's the same roster that James Anderson was on not too long ago. So why would a move need to be made? If Baynes is signed that would put the roster at 15 players, which is the max a team can have. Who are you counting as the 15th player on the Spurs team?
I got you now,but we still have to wait what Baynes can bring,don't we? Believe me,I watched him in ABA league,bc I live in that region and he's not even near to what Tiago was in Europe before he came to the NBA and we know how much time it took him to bring he's A game.Baynes can grow,that's for sure and is good on defense but he'll need time,maybe even more then Tiago...
@WOWWOWBAD If he doesnt sign THIS year somewhere, ya, Spurs will DEFINITELY have the ability to sign him..and MLE might get it done alone.. And btw, where did I say I was WANTING him much less "dreaming" of getting him? Maybe a little more reading and less ASSumptions are in order.
@Spursfan66 Manu said 36 may be a good age to retire, Manu is 35. He'll be 36 in July. Doesn't sound doubtful to me. You can believe all you want that he won't retire. I don't know a whole lot of Spurs fans hoping he does. But if he retires after this season it wouldn't surprise me. He got hurt yesterday by no contact and he didn't return in the game. Age is hitting him. He may not want to retire, but his body may be letting him know "Man it's about that time". I never said Tiago Splitter wouldn't take the money. I said it depends on the person and their situation. Pay or Replace? Okay. They don't have to replace Dejuan Blair. Already talks he may be gone before the end of the season. If Diaw stays he fills that role just like he's been doing since he's been on the team. Plus Spurs would still have Bonner. Power Forwards= Duncan, Diaw, Matt Bonner. Jackson same thing I said about Blair. If Diaw stays he can fill that role. Play SF behind Kawhi Leonard. They don't have to replace Patty Mills as they have Nando De Colo and Cory Joseph. Spurs don't really have to replace a whole lot. I think if Diaw were to opt out then it would mean for some serious thinking as Diaw can play 3 positions. Another thing if Aron Baynes is signed then he would replace Blair and possibly Tiago if he decided to go elsewhere. I never said you did say Tiago was a Superstar. You didn't mention who the Superstar was reason I was asking if maybe you were referring to him while also voicing my thoughts if so.
@DifferentVSTheSame Doubtful because he still has game and I'm sure he wants to play as long as Tim does. The guy is a competitor and wont quit when he can still play.
You said not all, I said vast majority..kinda the same thing. And 11 divided by 3 is 3.66 mil..not even within a mil of the average salary in NBA, so I promise you he will be taking the $..but Spurs may be high bidder, who knows..You also need to consider that at his age, this could be his only shot at big $ deal, and he AND his agent are smart enough to know that. And who is to say that TS doesnt feel slighted by the years of low mins etc already?
As for DJB I have said many times he is VERY likely gone soon. And jax could even be traded by deadline...but instead of putting every single guy under microscope, I will simply repeat what I first said.."we have to pay or REPLACE"
Superstar as in big FA...many have commented on thinking that Spurs will have max type money to pay one, and my point is that that $ will be gone paying our guys and replacing role players like DJB. And no, noone said TS was a superstar..thats pretty much another one of my points.
@Spursfan66 Doubtful how? Manu has already said in interviews he's thought about retiring. Vast majority I won't disagree. But like I said not all. It depends on the person and their situation. Tiago is supposedly making $11 million off his current 3 year contract. Add that to what he made overseas. I'm sure dude isn't hurting for money. But I'm not saying he won't ask for money either. All the Spurs players may not return. Dejuan Blair probably won't be back. Stephen Jackson is questionable. He has mentioned that he wants to stay. But it's really on the Spurs in my opinion if he returns or not. Boris I could see coming back. Mills may opt out in hopes of getting a better deal and a starting job. Manu I still think could possibly retire or come back for one year, 2 would be surprising to me. What Superstar are you talking about? Tiago? If Tiago he is not a Superstar, not even for the Spurs. He's a nice player who can do some nice things. That's it. Maybe one day, but not today in my personal opinion.
@DifferentVSTheSame Very doubtful manu retires..and the VAST majority of non max type guys DO take the $ and thats a fact. ESPECIALLY if they are coming off a small contract AND Tiagos age. The guy has a wife so you better BELIEVE he will take the $. High dollar players like LBJ can AFFORD to be choosy. And I wasnt precluding Neal from those likely to garner their attention, I just implied the other two are the more important guys. Im not saying they dont like Neal or anything...My POINT was that there wont be enough $ to get the Superstar that too many think they can because of all the spurs we have to pay or replace. My guess is not much more than the full MLE left once we address in house guys.
@Jose_G That's where the confusion was with me. It appeared to me that you were saying the Spurs roster was full and so they had to let someone go in order to add Aron Baynes or someone else to the roster. Not because of luxury tax purposes or because they simply like to keep that extra spot available for reasons they see fit. This clears that up for me.
@Jose_G @sonyvaiolink @DifferentVSTheSame Cap will be a factor because of Jax, manu,TS,DJB, and Neal needing to get paid or replaced. We also have Diaw and Mills with player options...sure they are likely to stay, but what if? And (finally) Matt isnt a lock to be spur next year either because he is not fully guaranteed.
@Spursfan66 @sonyvaiolink @DifferentVSTheSame we're at $70 mill right now, under the luxury tax. with Baynes, we won't have a roster spot for him. next year, we'll have Duncan, Diaw, Baynes, Bonner, and Splitter if you keep him (expecting Blair waived or traded). you'd have way too many bigs committed to not enough playing time. TD, Diaw are automatic for minutes. you overpay Splitter you have to pay him. no one wants Bonner so he'd be at the back end and you'd have to do ur due diligence to Baynes for signing for a multi year deal at the veteran minimum.
btw next year we're well under the cap, so that's not even a factor either.