While Oden is an improvement over Heat center Joel Anthony, inking Oden to a deal would be too risky due to his poor health.
Oden, 23, was the No. 1 pick of the 2007 NBA draft, going to the Trail Blazers. He had high expectations due to his prep and collegiate play, drawing comparisons to NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell.
He was the National Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006 (he shared the 2005 award with Golden State Warriors shooting guard Monta Ellis) and was an All-America selection as a freshman at Ohio State University.
Health, though, has eluded Oden at the NBA level. The four-year veteran has already missed three full NBA seasons due to severe injuries.
In the 82 games Oden has played, he put up decent but not game-changing numbers. He averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game in 22.1 minutes.
The Trail Blazers offered Oden, who is a restricted free agent, a $8.9 million offer. If he doesn't want to return to Portland, the Heat could offer him $5 million for a mid-level deal.
While Oden is young and has talent, it should concern the Heat's front office as the center cannot stay on the hardwood. He cannot help Miami if he suffers another devastating injury.
As former Heat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas retired, Miami does have a hole to fill, but that should be by a more dependable player than Oden. Rumors also state that Sacramento Kings center Samuel Dalembert, a 30-year-old rebounding and shot-blocking center who missed just two games the last five years, is interested in the Heat.
Oden is too injury-prone to seriously consider signing, with odds indicating it's a bad bet. A center like Dalembert, not Oden, should be pursued by the Heat if they want to solidify the center position.
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