The Golden State Warriors are open to chasing Greg Oden or Yao Ming, both centers who are done for the season, in free agency, according to Warriors GM Larry Riley in a story by Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. Riley doesn't mention either center by name, but says that the Warriors wouldn't hesitate to take a chance on an injured player.
"When you're looking at what you can do to get better, you have to consider the possibility of what an injured player today might be able to do when he returns," said general manager Larry Riley, who can't name players under contract with other teams. "A lot has been done down that road, and more will be done."
Oden will be a restricted free agent, provided that the Portland Trail Blazers extend a pricey qualifying offer to the player they made the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Oden has played 82 games in four seasons in the NBA after a series of brutal injuries to his feet and knees.
Yao's in a similar boat, though he'll be an unrestricted free agent in July. Yao, 30, played just five games this season and zero last year due to foot and knee injuries. It isn't believed the Rockets will trade Yao's expiring contract at the NBA trade deadline this week, but anything is possible. Portland trading Oden seems more plausible as the Blazers try to firm up a playoff run. But assessing a fair value for player with the potential and injury history of Oden seems particularly daunting.