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The teams in the BIG3 apparently weren’t enamored with the idea of a new big man patrolling the lane.
There were only 19 selections in the draft. Josh Peter of USA Today explained there were more than 60 players on the board for the three-round draft, but the fact the reigning champions Trilogy had to keep their roster intact meant only seven teams had picks.
“Each of the other seven teams had to give up players that go into the eligible pool for the draft,” Peter wrote. “The pool includes 26 returning players—DeShawn Stephenson, Joe Smith and Al Thornton are among them—and 38 new players—Greg Oden, Eddy Curry and Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen are among them.”
Oden stood out on the list because of his status as a No. 1 pick in the NBA and the success he experienced during his one collegiate season. He teamed up with Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley Jr. to lead the Ohio State Buckeyes to the national championship game.
Injuries derailed what figured to be a promising career as microfracture surgery and other ailments limited him to just 82 games during the course of five seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. He also played 23 games for the Miami Heat in 2013-14—four seasons after he last suited up for Portland—and played one year in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Oden averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game during his Trail Blazers tenure.
Had he been drafted, he could have turned his attention to a BIG3 league that was co-founded by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz and features a number of former NBA players. Marquee names such as Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups and Rashard Lewis were on rosters during the three-on-three league’s first season.
The BIG3 announced its 2018 schedule begins in Houston on June 22 and culminates in Brooklyn, New York, on Aug. 24 when a champion will be named.