Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – How good could the back-to-back NBA champion Miami Heat be with a 7-foot center capable of defending the paint on a regular basis? If you believe Heat scout Tim Hardaway, good enough to win a third straight NBA championship.
The Heat was in attendance last week when former number one overall pick Greg Oden held a workout for teams interested in signing the 7-foot, 270 pound big man. Among the teams in attendance were the Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and others.
Over the weekend, Hardaway weighed in with his thoughts on what Oden could bring to the Heat and he pulled no punches.
“If we get Greg Oden, I think we will win a third (straight) title,” Hardaway told Fox Sports Florida.
It’s easy to see why Hardaway would see the addition of Oden in such a light. If healthy, Oden is almost a double-double waiting to happen each night. Depending on how many minutes he could play, the Heat would also be freed up to move Chris Bosh around to the four at times during a game as well.
Oden would arguably contribute more on the defensive end of the floor by giving the Heat a legit seven-footer to match up with Roy Hibbert, Tyson Chandler, Brook Lopez, and Andrew Bynum.
But, the Heat would be depending on player who hasn’t played in a game in a few years, has undergone multiple microfracture surgeries on his knees and has never played an entire season.
Still, the upside of adding Oden to a roster that includes LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Chris Andersen, Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem, Rashard Lewis, and James Jones may be worth the risk.
Oden hasn’t tipped his hand where he might sign, but he will still likely be undergoing rehab from his knee injuries as training camp nears. If he joined the Heat, Oden could arguably sit out the first few months of the season and then begin to make an impact as the playoffs rolled around.