The Miami Heat signed Chris Andersen to another 10-day contract recently, and that could mean they are set to eventually sign him for the rest of the season. So with Andersen and Jarvis Varnado on the roster, the team's interest in Greg Oden is futile.
Andersen has been a solid fit with Miami thus far and gives the Heat some much-needed size off the bench immediately.
"Birdman" is averaging 3.7 points and four rebounds per game in his six appearances this season. As he continues to round into better shape, Andersen will only improve from here.
Adding to their depth in the big man department, the Heat also guaranteed the contract of forward Jarvis Varnado, although it's likely his impact will be felt down the road instead of right away.
Despite the signings of Birdman and Varnado, the Heat are keeping their options open, and it appears the pursuit for Oden rages on, per Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports:
Conley, who continues to talk with Heat team president Pat Riley, said Miami remains in the picture for Oden and that he still anticipates his client will visit with the Heat. Conley said it likely won’t be before the Feb. 15-17 All-Star break, but he’s trying get Oden to Miami in the latter part of the month to meet with team officials.
The history of Oden's time in the NBA has been well documented.
There was some serious hype around the center when he was drafted No. 1 overall back in 2007, but injuries have sidelined his career. Oden has only played in 82 games—all for the Portland Trail Blazers—and has averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest.
A lack of talent has never been the issue for Oden. Countless knee problems have halted any momentum of Oden developing his skills, and it remains to be seen if his fragile body can withstand a full season of banging with big bodies in the paint.
Clearly the Heat are hoping they can catch lightning in a bottle and that Oden can finally realize his true potential if he can only stay healthy. If that were to happen, the Heat would no doubt have a gold mine on their hands when combined with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
While it's an intriguing scenario that the Heat would love to come true, it likely won't happen.
Knee problems are one of the last issues a big man wants to have, let alone a younger one. It's doubtful Oden can ever return to his once-dominant college form, and the Heat are just spinning their wheels in regards to the Ohio State product.
A more realistic scenario for Miami would be to hold onto Andersen for the remainder of this season and potentially next, while continuing to develop Varnado behind the scenes in what will be a project that has a better chance of succeeding than Oden.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!