Stein: Greg Oden Seriously Considering New Orleans

USA TODAY Sports

!!!

I'm getting way more excited than I really should be, given (a) Greg Oden hasn't played since 2009 and (b) both teams that made the 2013 Finals are still the reported front runners for his signature.

But maybe, maybe, maybe the spotlight that'll be focused on Oden in San Antonio and Miami is working against those teams' favors. Quoth Marc Stein (who along with Y!'s A-Woj, NBA.com's David Aldridge, and himself's Sam Amick is one of the very few names in NBA journalism you can trust without question):

It's not just the Dallas Mavericks who've nudged their way into the race for Greg Oden along with NBA Finals combatants Miami and San Antonio.

There are growing indications that the New Orleans Pelicans are going to be a factor in the Oden chase as well.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that the Pelicans have been booked for a Wednesday sitdown with Oden and will also get serious consideration from the former No. 1 overall pick as he decides where to relaunch his career after being sidelined since early in the 2009-10 season.

The Pelicans, sources said, are building their pitch around the fact that going to New Orleans would enable Oden to make his comeback far away from the media glare and with no immediate pressure to cope with as he tries again to bounce back from the knee issues that have limited the 25-year-old to just 82 career regular-season games since being drafted in 2007.

The presence of former Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams as the head man in New Orleans -- someone who already knows Oden well -- is seen as another element working in the Pelicans' favor along with the fact that their young core of players are all in Oden's age range.

Look. I'm not going to jinx it, and we're many, many light years away from Oden The Pelican, him actually wearing a NOLA jersey, actually playing in an NBA game. But... somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, the idea of a 7'0", 250 lb, 5.1% block-rating, 26% defensive rebounding, 118 offensive efficiency-ing, defensive monster playing alongside Anthony Davis is taking hold and thrashing about and invading my dreams.

It's stupid, yes! Oden should be and rightly is maybe the 14th most important thing Dell Demps does/constructs/pursues this summer. The fact that Demps' to do list runs that deep at all though is damn impressive. So dream on, I say.

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