Heat have removed themselves from Greg Oden derby, sources say. Both Cavs and Bobcats prepared to make Oden offer after trading deadline.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) February 11, 2013
Let's just get this out of the way first: I'm rooting for Oden. I imagine most people are. It is always frustrating to see someone as talented as Oden have his skills sit idle because his body won't cooperate.
Oden was taken with the first overall selection in 2007. He has played in just 62 games in his career. His knees have been his worst enemy.
Should the Heat continue to pursue Greg Oden?
To his credit, after countless surgeries and numerous setbacks, Oden is trying to make it back in the league, and there is little doubt he could still contribute if he could stay healthy.
At what level is anyone's guess. That depends on how well his knees allow him to move. However, even if he is nearly a statue, the 7' center will still be able to grab some boards and block some shots.
The Heat are definitely in need of that. This team is last in the NBA in rebounding.
However, there is a good chance that they were priced out of the pursuit. Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reported the Cleveland Cavaliers were "expected" to make a two-year offer with a player option on a third year to Oden.
The last thing the Heat need, with so much salary being wrapped in three players, is someone on the roster who is eating up salary-cap space and is more likely to be on the injured reserve than the hardwood.
The following move, tweeted by the Heat, makes much more sense.
OFFICIAL: The @miamiheat have signed Chris Andersen for the remainder of the season.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 8, 2013
Anderson is 34, and he has been out of basketball for a year. Obviously, he doesn't come with the same upside as 25-year-old Oden, but the Heat don't need to gamble on upside.
This team needs pieces, not stars. With some reliable rebounding and interior defense, the Heat will be nearly unbeatable.
There is no reason to roll the dice on a player like Greg Oden.