The Miami Heat are interested in former Blazer center and 2007 #1 pick, Greg Oden. This makes a fair bit of sense for them since they are unlikely to afford current backup center, Chris Andersen next season. Oden is the definition of high risk, high reward. If he can even resemble the player he was supposed to be, the Heat could be even better next year (if possible).
Oden’s agent, Mike Conley Sr., said earlier this week:
“The Heat need some size, that’s not a secret. Whether it’s in a backup role or whatever, he could help them. I know they’re interested in him and he’s interested in them.”
-via Chris Tomasson, Fox Sports Florida
I have very mixed feelings about Oden in Miami. NBA fans were quick to make jokes at his expense when he was down and, while it’s all fun and games for speculators, that’s hard to deal with when you know your potential. With the Heat, Oden would have a shot at returning to form and finding the success that was stolen from him (and Portland).
However; it is the Miami Heat and I have no desire to see them 3-peat in 2014. If Oden is half as good as he was supposed to be prior to injury, they won’t miss a beat in forming their next title run. It’s looking less and less likely, but hopefully he will end up somewhere else. I know there were talks about the Pacers and the Cavs a few months back.
If you can survive the nightmarish trip down memory lane, you’ll remember what kind of risk the Heat are considering. Greg Oden’s Blazer timeline is as follows:
|June 28th, 2007||The Portland Trail Blazers draft Greg Oden with the #1 pick in the NBA Draft.|
|July 1st, 2007||Oden signs a 2 year guaranteed contract with a 3rd and 4th year option.|
|September 14th, 2007||Oden undergoes micro-fracture surgey on his right knee and misses the entire 2007-2008 season.|
|October 28th, 2008||Oden makes his Blazer debut against the Los Angeles Lakers, but leaves the game with a foot injury, missing the next 6 games.|
|February 12th, 2009||Oden chips his knee in a collision with Corey Maggette and misses 15 more games.|
|December 5th, 2009||Oden fractures his left patella and misses the majority of the 2009-2010 season.|
|November 17th, 2010||The Blazers announce that Oden will undergo another micro-fracture surgery and miss the entirety of the 2010-2011 season.|
|December 9th, 2011||Oden suffers a setback, putting his 2011-2012 season in jeopardy.|
|February 3rd, 2012||Oden has arthroscopic surgery on his ailing right knee.|
|February 20th, 2012||During a similar procedure 17 days later, it is discovered that Oden has further damage to his articular cartilage, leading to his third micro-fracture surgery.|
|March 15th, 2012||The Portland Trail Blazers waive Oden to clear space for another rebuilding effort.|
In five years with the Blazers, Oden played just 82 games; the equivalent of 1 NBA season. I want to believe that his injury woes are over and he is ready to contribute at a high level for many years to come, but his past is difficult to shake. The Miami Heat will have to take all this into consideration as they contemplate signing the Blazers’ 2nd biggest heartbreak of the last decade.
For those who are not fond of the Heat, there are two ways to look at this; win-win or lose-lose. The positive angle can enjoy Oden’s potential success, but can settle with Miami misery should Oden bust. I fall within this camp. However; I cannot fault those who view this as a negative- Miami’s success vs. Oden’s failure. Either way, it looks like Oden is not yet ready to throw in the towel.