EDIT: The header is supposed to say "WITHOUT" injuries. My bad. Sorry.
Another recent thread is discussing Oden and guys who have had big drops in their career for any number of reasons, but I'm curious as to what people think Oden's career arc would have looked like without injuries?
Watching him play, one thing is clear: He is a great rebounder.
Another thing is clear: the only way he would NOT foul out if given starting minutes, is if the NBA hired WWE officials and Oden has his manager and/or valet distracting them every time he was on defense.
All recent personal issues aside, Oden has proven that he is a tremendously hard worker. His physical conditioning is frankly amazing. There are few guys more ripped than Oden. And that has made him a tough rebounder, but the first two seasons he played, he averaged over 6 fouls per36. He would not have been an effective defender with those kind of numbers, and his blocks per-fouls ratio is awful.
This year, in limited minutes, it was even worse. he averaged 8.8 fouls per36.
I admittedly have not seen a lot of Oden, and I doubt many fans outside of Portland of college fans have given that he has only played 105 games in almost 10 years (that is about 10 games per season), but the games I have seen, his offense is also very limited. He's not much of a free-throw shooter, and while I wouldn't call him turnover prone, he commits more than his share.
In the small sample size I've seen, I think Oden would have been a huge bust even if he had stayed healthy. His best case scenario is that he ends up like Tyson Chandler, but his fouls would prevent him being as effective on defense. The more likely scenario is he becomes more like Reggie Evans...
I know some will say that he was away from the game for a year before starting his official rookie campaign, but we saw Blake Griffin go through the same process, and his rookie year he was the clear cut ROY and showed even in the first 30 games that he was All-Star material.
So.... would Oden have been a bust regardless? Or would have been able to turn into the next Dikembe or Ben Wallace, or Tyson Chandler?