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What if Oden gets healthy?

You have to feel for Greg Oden -- the guy just can't stay healthy. He hasn't played since 2009, and his latest surgery has turned into a third microfracture procedure that seems like it'll just delay his career further.

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Turn back the clock?

The decision to take Greg Oden over Kevin Durant has turned into a big regreat for the Trail Blazers, given Oden's extensive injury history. He was a highly touted pick, however, and if he had never gotten injured, do you see him potentially having been better than Durant over the past five years?

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For at least a couple of generations of SportsNation, Billy Sims is that loud guy (Boomer!) who stood behind Sam Bradford at the Heisman ceremony two years ago. But for some, he's still the guy who starred at Oklahoma and then made the Pro Bowl after rushing for 1,303 yards and 13 touchdowns after the Lions made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1980 draft. If you don't remember that part, it's because he was out of the league by 1985.

Needless to say, Clippers fans hope their former Oklahoma star follows a different path.

Sims is part of an exclusive club, even if it's one nobody wants a part of. Some No. 1 overall picks just can't cut it in the pros (we're looking at you, JaMarcus). But others fail to live up to their potential for reasons beyond their control. So scanning the last 30 years, which No. 1 picks would have ranked highest in the pantheon of all-time greats if not for injuries?

Rank 'Em: Which No. 1 overall pick would have enjoyed the best injury-free career?

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All right, so more than 70 percent of SportsNation thinks Vince Young has a brighter future than Greg Oden, but could Portland's big man be the next to start living up to expectations? Oden went for 24 points and 12 rebounds Monday night against the Bulls, and while that's merely a good scoring half for Kevin Durant, it was a career high for Oden, the guy picked ahead of him. Speaking of Durant, it can't help Oden to have him around for such comparisons. Consider how SportsNation felt about the two on the eve of the 2007 draft.

To this point, it's not even clear Oden is better than Hakim Warrick, but he is just 21 years old. So putting Durant aside for at least a few years, how about a more reasonable comparison. Would you rather have Oden or Andrew Bynum as a young post?

martell webster (portland)

What do you think the best starting lineup is for us in the long run? Do you think Oden will ever be an All-Star?

J.A. Adande
J.A. Adande

It could happen for Oden just by attrition. Once Yao Ming's gone, for example. There are so few quality big men in the league right now. But at the moment Oden couldn't even crack the Bynum and Gasol lineup. Channing Frye's having a better season ... Full transcript

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It wasn't so long ago that you didn't casually throw around phrases like "lock up for the long term" when discussing the Trail Blazers. That it's fair game these days is proof of why the team wants to lock up Brandon Roy with a long-term contract.

But if Roy is the face of a rehabilitated franchise, can he be the face of a championship franchise?

SportsNation voters have no doubt that the Blazers made the best of the 2006 draft -- Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay and others barely muster a challenge. And even if Portland is a hidden gem up in the Pacific Northwest, Roy gets his share of recognition. Last year, voters ranked him ahead of Kevin Durant among the best players then under the age of 23. And just a few weeks ago, voters were clear they want him on Team USA for the next round of major international competitions.

But none of that is the same thing as saying Roy is a championship cornerstone. When it comes to doing that, a lot of eyes are still on Greg Oden.

kshiau

Doesn't take a genius to know you've got to lock up your star player when they're willing. Roy deserves a max deal and for him to sign now shows he's committed to the team and trusts the management to surround him with talent in order to compete every May and June when it matters. Can't say the same for two primadonna star players named LBJ and D-Wade who refuse to sign extensions, thereby holding their franchises and their fan bases hostage until their every demand is met. In other words, Roy has class along with his worldly talent.

-- kshiau
lidocizaineandb12

Roy has a better chance of winning a RING somewhere else. Is he satisfied with 50-55 wins a year and second round playoff apperances? maybe so.

-- LidocizaineAndB12

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