The Portland Blazers are expected to make Greg Oden — the most easily-forgotten TMZ star of our time and the youngest veteran in the league — a restricted free agent with a $8.8 million qualifying offer for a one-year contract extension. With the offer alone, the Blazers will reserve the right to match any subsequent offers he might receive. This should not end well.
Oden's rehab from his latest knee injury could put him back in uniform by January 2012, which means he could increase his career production by about 60 percent (he's played 82 games in four years) if he stays healthy next season. It could conceivably be a real turning point for the 23-year-old. But a friendly reminder: should Oden attempt to play a single game for the Blazers' next season, it is very likely that he will lose an $8.8 million limb. His career trajectory just says so.