Greg Oden to Sign with the Heat
photo: Keith Allison (via wikimedia commons)
Greg Oden will sign with the Miami Heat.
Oden, the former first-overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft, has agreed to a two-year deal with Miami worth the veteran's minimum, with an opt-out next Summer, according to ESPN.
Oden, who has had what was a promising career derailed by knee injuries, was deciding between Miami, the New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs.
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For the Heat, the move is low risk, high reward, as Oden fills a need to make the team bigger on the inside, while only costing them about $1,027,000 in veteran's minimum.
Oden was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers in 2007. He soon underwent microfracture surgery of the knee, and was forced to miss his entire rookie season.
The 25-year-old, 7-foot Oden hasn't played since 2009, but brings a ton of upside if he can stay healthy, giving the Heat an absolute steal at the center position.
With a healthy Oden coming off the bench, the Heat will have a bevy of big men playing alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, including Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, The Birdman and Joel Anthony.
If Oden falls short of expectations, the Heat will chalk it up to a failed experiment in a gamble where they had nothing to lose.
If, however, Oden can stay on the court, and show even a bit of what he was when he dominated as Ohio State's center and made him the overall number one pick by Portland in '07, then Pat Riley will be once again hailed a genius.
It's a fantastic move by the Heat. One well worth the risk and price tag.
Oden is expected to officially join the team on Monday.
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