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NBA News: The Latest on Derrick Rose, Greg Oden and Al Harrington

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NBA News: The Latest on Derrick Rose, Greg Oden and Al Harrington
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Derrick Rose is set to return in the preseason.

This time of the year is usually slow in the NBA. But even as free agency winds down, Derrick Rose and other impact players have made headlines recently.

Most NBA teams have their rosters pretty much set, but this year has seen some late movement. Whether it's adding or dropping players, there have still been several intriguing moves made. 

Championship contenders have pressure to make sure they are ready to go from the start of the season. Two of the biggest contenders in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls, have had some promising news lately.

Ironically, every player on this list is coming off an injury. 

Let's check out some of the recent news around the NBA.

 

Rose could play in preseason opener

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Rose's return makes the Bulls legitimate title contenders.

According to NBA.com, Rose may suit up for the Chicago Bulls' preseason opener. The Bulls will visit the Indiana Pacers, and Rose could finally be back in the lineup.

There were many opinions on whether or not Rose should have returned last season. The only opinion that mattered was Rose's, and he wanted to take it slow after suffering a serious knee injury.

The former NBA MVP has averaged 21 points, 6.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds for his career. He is an explosive player who can carry a team in the playoffs, so it was important for him to get back to 100 percent.

Playing in the preseason should not stir up a debate, as he appears ready to go. This will be his chance to show everyone that his knee is fine and that he can still play at a high level.

With Rose leading the way, the Bulls will be expected to challenge the Heat in the East. 

 

Greg Oden signs with the Miami Heat

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The Miami Heat addressed their biggest weakness by signing Greg Oden.

Marc Stein and Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reported on Friday that center Greg Oden will sign with the Miami Heat.

After winning back-to-back titles, the Heat still felt like they had a flaw. The Heat have not had a dominant big man since LeBron James joined the team. For that reason, it looked inevitable that Oden would eventually be a member of the Heat.

Teams like the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs have used big men to push the Heat to the edge, but Miami has found ways to escape with series victories.

With Dwyane Wade dealing with injuries, the Heat needed to find a way to fix its biggest flaw.

Oden has dealt with injuries throughout his career. The former No. 1 pick may not be ready to play in the opener, but neither side wants to rush him back. Oden is looking to finally get healthy and make it through a season. The Heat need a big man for the playoffs, not the regular season. 

Miami will need to find a way to manage his minutes when he finally does return.

If Oden can get healthy and be an impact player, Miami is going to be favored to three-peat. 

 

Al Harrington is looking for a new team

Harry How/Getty Images
Al Harrington can still make an impact on a team.

The Orlando Magic finished with the worst record in the NBA last season, so it continued to rebuild by cutting a veteran player. 

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported that the team cut ties with Al Harrington on Friday.

The veteran was due nearly $15 million over the next two seasons, so the Magic decided to shed salary. 

Harrington didn't play until February due to a staph infection in the knee and was forced to wear a brace. He played in only 10 games with the Magic, so he is expected to pass through waivers.

The 33-year-old has averaged 13.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in his career, so he would add good depth to a contending team. 

He will have to show that he is healthy and can be productive, but he has been a good player throughout his career. The Magic wanted to rebuild, so cutting Harrington was an easy choice.

Harrington needs to find a good fit for next season, and he will get back to being a solid player on the court.

 

*All stats are courtesy of NBA.com 

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