Despite recently winning a championship with a “small ball” lineup, the Miami Heat are still desperate for a serviceable big man and are willing to roll the dice to acquire one.
While other low-risk, high-reward bigs—such as Josh Harrellson, Dexter Pittman and Eddy Curry—haven’t panned out, it will not deter the Heat brass from searching for a potential diamond in the rough due to the organization’s limited cap space.
Let’s take a look at the latest rumors surrounding Oden and his potential roster spot in South Beach.
Heat Monitoring Rehab
Will Oden return to the NBA?
According to Windhorst and Stein, the Heat are apparently closely monitoring the status of Oden’s rehabilitation and may be willing to give him a contract just to have him progress on the roster and insure that he remains a member of the organization when healthy.
It’s a long shot that this actually happens, as the No. 1 overall pick in 2007 has undergone five knee surgeries and participated in only one full season during his five years in the NBA.
Oden would be a nice comeback story, but he’s simply not worth the risk until it’s proven he is healthy and able to play in the league down the line.
Oden Expressed Interest in Miami
While it’s not certain that the Heat are keen on Oden, we do know the center is interested in playing down in South Beach.
According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, Oden’s agent—Mike Conley Sr.—has confirmed that his client would like to play for the defending champs:
"There are several teams he likes, Miami included," Conley said. "We would like to see the enthusiasm reciprocated."
We’re not too sure Oden is going to have the luxury of being picky when he eventually is ready to return to the Association, as his injury saga was highly publicized and nearly every team will be leery of extending a contract for a player that might never see the court.
That’s all we have on Oden and his potential comeback for now, but we imagine more will be popping up over the next few months. He’s a big name star and his reappearance in the NBA—possible with the Miami Heat—will certainly make a splash.