Celtics Admit They Are Monitoring Greg Oden

No one, perhaps not even Greg Oden, is sure what the big man will have left in the tank once he’s healthy enough to play in the NBA again. We have questions marks on his foot speed, his love of the game, and oh yeah, all that other off-court stuff, too.

But that won’t stop teams from monitoring his progress, not with so many squads in dire need of a backup center who can rebound and block shots. The defending champs from Miami are consistently linked to Oden, and have to be one of the favorite should the big man make a return to the league. Yet they’ll have some competition.

Boston’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has confirmed the Celtics are “monitoring” the former No. 1 overall pick.

Ainge noted on Boston sports radio WEEI:

“Yeah, so we’re monitoring Greg, like all the NBA teams are, but we have not attempted to sign him. But we are monitoring him and having (conversations) with his people just to see where he’s at.”

“I don’t think (he’d be ready to play this year). I don’t know any of that for sure, but I would suspect that anybody that would sign him would have their eyes looking more towards his contribution in the future than now.”

Ainge said that at times, Oden was a fantastic defensive presence, and a strong rebounder. The numbers back up those claims, too. During the 2009-10 season that was cut short by injury, Oden averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks a night. Just a few nights before his season ended against Houston, he destroyed the Heat with 20 rebounds and four blocks in only 30 minutes. He was never healthy, and at this point, it’s probably too much to expect him to ever be healthy. But he was a bust because he couldn’t stay on the floor – the production, even in limited doses, was there. It was enough that GMs are still keeping a close eye on him even three years after his last game in the NBA.

Will Oden ever play in the NBA again?

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