August 05, 2013

Oden to Heat low-risk, potentially high reward

Selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, ahead of Kevin Durant, Greg Oden has only played 88 games in his brief two-year career. It was December 2009 when he fractured his left knee cap four minutes into a game, changing his NBA career drastically. Deficient knees, depression, ongoing rehabs and surgeries would plague Oden over the last several years. Multiple sources including those who have seen Oden's recent work outs report that he is lifting weights, running, and prepared to contribute to an NBA roster. 

Oden was granted the two-year veteran minimum from the Miami Heat, after being vetted by the Spurs, Hawks, Pelicans, and others. According to Oden, a big reason why he preferred Miami (other than the location and championship ora) was their sincere terms that his services would not be needed right away. After all, they did just win two straight titles without calling him (low-risk). Still, Miami is just as aware of their internal flaws, ranking in the bottom percentile in every rebounding category this season. Oden could be their insurance policy for future battles with Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez, etc. Despite his health issues, Oden is just 25 years old with not many miles on him. If he is anywhere close to the player who was compared to Bill Russell coming out of Ohio State, and able to provide Miami with ample paint presence, there's your high reward. If you remember the defensive force Oden was pre-injury, you understand how Miami's interior defense could improve long term with him as a healthy anchor.

Check out my full take and extensive discussion on Oden's move to Miami on our podcast shown in the sidebar. 

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