At the very moment the injury prone Greg Oden announced that he was willing to give NBA basketball one last shot, the rumors as to which team would land the big man started circulating.
Practically every team around the league has been monitoring Oden’s progress and evaluating the risk for reward issue that will always be attached to the former first overall pick.
Oden’s representatives met with several teams in order to find the best possible place for him to continue his career. Among the teams that arranged a meeting with him were the Miami Heat.
Miami general manager Pat Riley met with the free agent and it does not take a mastermind to outline what Riley’s selling strategy was. Oden would have a chance to resurrect his career next to three All-Stars, getting a legitimate opportunity to contend for a championship. But, obviously, there is a catch – he would make significantly less money in South Beach.
If healthy, the center would be a welcome addition to the Heat. Miami would finally have a legit 7-footer in the paint, who is capable of being a defensive anchor and a rebounding machine. His presence would also allow Chris Bosh to move back to his natural power forward position.
However, according to Sam Amico, of FOX Sports, the Heat are no longer interested in acquiring the services of the 7-footer:
Heat have removed themselves from Greg Oden derby, sources say. Both Cavs and Bobcats prepared to make Oden offer after trading deadline.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) February 11, 2013
It is unknown as to why the Heat withdrew the interest of signing Oden, but the fact that the Charlotte Bobcats and the Cleveland Cavaliers are willing to offer him a contract as early as this season could very well be the reason.
Oden is clearly looking for a good medical staff and job security as he will not be ready to play this season. If Bobcats or Cavaliers are willing to gamble on the big man right now, then there is little the Heat can do, as signing him this season is not an option.
Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist for RantSports. Follow him on twitter for all the latest news and updates: @VytisLasaitis