by Micah Hart
And we’re back with another installment of the hit game Extend, Trade or Cut!
Just to refresh you on the rules (there seemed a bit of confusion last time), picture yourself as the GM of a mythical NBA franchise, and pretend that you have to choose between three players. One player you can extend with a new contract, one player you can trade for some mythical asset(s), and one player you must cut from your roster for eternity (it’s a harsh world). You may choose each option only once.
Today’s scenario asks you to consider some recent #1 picks in the NBA Draft: The Wizards’ John Wall (No. 1 in 2010), the Clippers’ Blake Griffin (No. 1 in 2009) and the Blazers’ Greg Oden (#1 in 2007).
Some pros and cons on each to help start the discussion.
John Wall: An electrifying talent with almost unlimited potential, Wall is preparing to take the nation’s capital by storm. However, he’s very young, and has only a year of college ball on his resume. The NBA is littered with seemingly can’t miss prospects who did, in fact, miss. Do you know enough about Wall to say he won’t be one of them?
Greg Oden: He may look 56, but the Blazers’ big man is still only 22 years old. A myriad of injuries have derailed each of his three NBA seasons, which means the information on him feels incomplete as well. Still, the light bulb did seem to turn on a bit last year before his latest injury (from which he has yet to return), enough that many think that if he can just stay healthy (a big if) he could still blossom into the dominant pivotman everyone thought he would be coming out of Ohio State.
Blake Griffin: Griffin was one of the most dominant college players these eyes have seen in years. He personified the expression “a man among boys” in his sophomore season at Oklahoma before declaring for and becoming the top pick in the 2009 Draft. Unfortunately, the curse of the Clippers befell him, and his subsequent knee injury forced him to miss the entire 2009-10 season. Like the other two (notice a theme here?), not much is known yet about whether his brilliance will translate to the NBA.
So there you have it. All three are terrific players with tremendous potential, but none is a finished product.
The choice is yours: extend, trade, or cut?