MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The long wait over where former number one overall NBA draft pick Greg Oden will play may be coming to an end on Friday. According to ESPN.com, Oden will make his pick among six teams on Friday.
The six teams believed to be interested in Oden include: the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and Atlanta Hawks. ESPN.com reported the most likely destination will come from the trio of Miami, San Antonio, and Dallas.
Heat president Pat Riley has been actively recruiting Oden since before the Heat wrapped up its second straight NBA championship this year. But, the big question with Oden will be how long can he remain on the court.
Oden has only played in a total of 82 regular-season games and hasn’t been on the court since December 5, 2009. He’s had a total of three microfracture surgeries on his knee, including one in February 2012.
Oden held a workout for teams interested in signing him last week and, according to ESPN.com, was “noticeably slimmed down and is moving well more than a year removed from his last microfracture surgery.”
The question for Oden is does he want to return on a minimum contract and immediately play for an NBA championship, or take more money elsewhere and play out of the championship spotlight.
Adding Oden’s size to the Heat’s roster would be a huge move for Riley. If Oden can play 10 minutes a game and help Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen handle the other big centers in the Eastern Conference, it makes the Heat that much more dangerous.
If Oden can eventually give more than that, he provides a big body on the block to help move the ball around the court and open up more shots for LeBron James, Bosh, and Dwyane Wade, among others. He would also immediately help the Heat’s rebounding issues of the last few years.