Greg Oden, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2008 draft, has been assisting the Celtics with their draft workouts this week as he tries to launch his coaching career.
Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge said it is common for college coaches and others hoping to enter the industry to stop by Boston’s practice facility, partly because head coach Brad Stevens enjoys giving back to the coaching community, partly to keep tabs on potential hires, and partly because there is value in just exchanging ideas.
“Greg Oden just happens to be a little more recognizable than some of the other coaches hanging around,” Ainge said. “It’s a thing we are doing almost all year, but in the summer it’s a little easier to have more visitors.”
Oden and Kevin Durant were the consensus top picks in the 2008 draft and Oden was taken No. 1 overall by the Blazers. But a series of knee injuries derailed his career, as he was limited to 105 total NBA games.
Oden, 31, played 25 games in the Chinese Basketball Association in 2015-16 and this summer he is scheduled to take part in the BIG3, a professional three-on-three basketball league that mostly features former NBA players.
Oden has also been working with the Ohio State coaching staff to try to kick-start a new career, and Ainge said that was one of the reasons Boston’s staff wanted to meet with him.
“He did play pickup with our coaches yesterday,” Ainge said. “I didn’t play yesterday; a little too much going on. But that’s a good addition. Whoever got him probably won.”
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