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Oden will enter draft, father says

The Celtics' loss to the Bucks last night carried a serendipitous bonus.

Hours after they clinched the second-worst record in the NBA, they discovered there will be not one but two grand prizes in next month's draft lottery. And the latest addition is the one they really covet.

Ohio State star center Greg Oden will enter the draft, his father told The Indianapolis Star in a story on its website.

Oden, the freshman who led the Buckeyes to the NCAA title game , is considered the premier prospect in the country, on par with the best big men the NBA boasts right now. He joins his fellow uberfreshman, Texas forward Kevin Durant, in the platinum class of draft candidates. Durant announced earlier this week he was making himself eligible for the draft.

"They had an exciting season, but why take the chance on him getting hurt?" Greg Oden Sr. told the Star.

Oden's entrance into the draft certainly won't hurt the Celtics' cause. Theoretically, their 104-102 setback to the Bucks guarantees they'll have the second-best chance of landing the No. 1 pick when the ping-pong balls start bouncing in Secaucus, N.J. Only the Grizzlies are in better positon. And if the Celtics do finish No. 2, they'll get a lovely consolation prize.