He loves Durant. It's pretty obvious that he thinks Durant should be the top pick. That's fine. But here's the thing, Simmons ends the column with this gem:
Face it: No GM has the testicular fortitude to pass up a potential superstar center, not even for someone as potentially game-changing as Durant. If you want to compete from now until 2020, take Oden. Simple. But as soon as the Blazers pass on Durant, he will instantly be more dangerous. Because from that moment on, he'll be playing with a chip on his shoulder. As Karl Malone, Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer and others have taught us, a draft slight is a scary thing: It's a contract-year push that never ends. Each season, you want to stick it to everyone who didn't believe in you all over again. (Note: The term for this phenomenon is "anti-Darkoism.") So the Sonics might one day look as if they were the ones who caught the break on May 22. I just don't know.So lemme get this straight, if you're drafting first and you want to be competitive for the next 10+ years, you take Oden. But Durant is more dangerous?
Look, everyone tells us that the league is getting faster, the Suns and Warriors are the future and blah blah blah blah. But I'd just like to point out that, since 1999, the NBA Champion has looked like this: Duncan-Shaq-Shaq-Shaq-Duncan-Detroit (against Shaq)-Duncan-Shaq-Duncan.
Durant may be the next Jordan (as Kobe and LeBron before him). That is wonderful. He may very well dominate the league and be a Hall of Fame player. But the league is full of players 'like Jordan'; long athletic swing men are littered across the NBA map (we got guys in Atlanta, LA, Cleveland, Houston etc).
Meanwhile, Oden compares favorably to exactly two NBA players (and by 'compare' I simply mean being projected as a dominant center) and those guys happen to each own four rings each and at least one of them has appeared in every NBA Finals since 1999.
So ya. Pass on Greg Oden.