Cavs prepared to offer Greg Oden two-year contract after trade deadline
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal has reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers are prepared to offer the former first-overall draft pick a two-year contract after the NBA trade deadline on February 21st. The deal would include a team option for a third year, reducing the risk of signing the injury-prone big man. The deal is also believed to be in the range of $4 million, significantly more than other teams are reportedly willing to offer. Given the size of the contract, and the fact that Oden went to Ohio State and is currently living in Ohio, the Cavs seem like the frontrunners to land Oden.
The Cavs currently have about $4 million in cap space, which they plan to preserve in the event of potential trades, which is why they are waiting until after the trade deadline to offer Oden a contract. Other teams linked to the big man - such as the Heat, Celtics, and Spurs, among others - are expected to wait until after the deadline to make contract offers as well.
It's no surprise that Oden is drawing a lot of interest. Despite his awful injury history (has played 82 games in the five-plus seasons since being drafted), Oden has been very effective when on the court. In his most recent season (2009-10), he averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks with a 60.5% shooting percentage in very limited minutes. His career per-36-minute averages are an extremely impressive 15.3 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks. If he can stay healthy - and that's a big "if" - he can provide a ton of value in the frontcourt for any team in the NBA.
It makes a lot of sense that the Cavs would be among the most interested teams when it comes to Oden. Ranked 29th in blocked shots, 28th in field goal percentage, 20th in rebounds, and 26th in points allowed, Oden's presence could give the Cavs a huge boost in some of their weakest areas.