When a team wins back-to-back NBA Championships, it’s hard to determine what they really need in the offseason. LeBron James and the Miami Heat will contend for another title regardless of who else they sign to the roster, but there’s one guy who looks like he’d fit in very nicely for just the right price: Greg Oden.
The buzz surrounding Oden has been primarily focused on what a huge bust he’s turned out to be in the NBA. Selected No. 1 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft, he was expected to transform the Portland Trail Blazers‘ franchise and become one of the best big men in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have kept him off the court. Oden has played just 82 games, the equivalent of one full regular season, over the last five years.
But with a temporarily clean bill of health after sitting out the 2012-2013 season, he’s ready to return to basketball and Miami is reportedly a potential landing spot. This deal would make perfect sense for both Oden and the Heat.
For Oden, what could be better than playing for the best team in the league with an instant shot at becoming an NBA Champion? If he chooses to play for the Heat, he’ll have a solid role in the rotation but far less pressure riding on him than he’s used to. If he comes in and grabs rebounds and blocks shots, he’ll be viewed as a solid contributor to a great team. He won’t be featured in the Heat offense, but he’ll get his chance to prove his value. The situation in Miami is perfect for him to step into.
From the Heat’s perspective, signing Oden is a great move too. If there’s one thing they lack, it’s size and rebounding. Oden is a seven-footer with phenomenal rebounding and shot-blocking abilities who would fit perfectly into the equation. While he remains a severe injury risk, his upside is big and he won’t cost them much. Unlike his rookie contract as the first overall draft pick, Oden’s new contract would only eat up about $3 million for the Heat. For that price, they would be getting a young center with the potential to help them in one of their only areas of weakness. It’s really a low-risk, high-reward investment when looking at the big picture.
Oden’s road to becoming a legitimate contributor should start in Miami. The signing makes perfect sense for both sides and could propel both Oden and the Heat to new heights. If Oden plays up to his potential, he’ll resurrect his NBA career. Plus, the Heat will become virtually unstoppable.