Before this week, Greg Oden’s career seemed over before it ever really started. The former No. 1 overall pick out of Ohio State has played in a grand total of 82 games since being selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007. He has had not one, not two, but three microfracture surgeries as of last March. He hasn’t played in a legitimate basketball game in three years.
The Blazers opted to waive Oden last month after his latest health setback. There were some murmurs about teams picking him up, however, all involved decided to take a wait-and-see approach. Rather than rushing the talented -- but ridiculously injury-prone -- big man back, everyone decided to let him fully recover before making any rash decisions.
Apparently teams are now officially ready to make some rash decisions.
According to ESPN, Oden is looking to make his big comeback next year and squads around the league are already showing a fairly decent amount of interest.
Sources told ESPN.com that multiple teams already have expressed interest in signing Oden before the end of this season to a multiyear deal that would allow him to continue his rehab until he can get back on the court in training camp in the fall.
The Miami Heat are at the front of the line in pursuing Oden, two sources said, and have been keeping tabs as he recovers while also taking classes at Ohio State.
As has been made abundantly clear by their play over the last couple of weeks, the Heat are in desperate need of a big man who can rebound. When he is healthy, Oden can be the sort of post presence that Chris Bosh has never seemed particularly comfortable being. When he’s healthy. On the rare occasions that he actually played in Portland, Oden averaged nine points and seven boards. While those stats doesn’t jump off the page, it is worth remembering that they came with him playing way too sporadically to build up any sort of rhythm whatsoever.
Miami has certain salary cap obligations that may make the Oden signing difficult; however, it is probably a safe bet that he will play again somewhere. If Brandon Roy could find another NBA gig after everything he had been through, surely someone will take a chance on a talented seven-footer looking to prove himself.