Former number 1 pick Greg Oden, one of the hottest, yet most unpredictable commodities of the NBA off season has chosen to sign with the Miami Heat. The 7′ 0″ 25 year old big man is looking to fill the Heat’s void for a powerful center, yet Oden hasn’t played since the 2009-2010 season because of injuries to both knees. So this one is a major gamble for the Heat. But if the outcome swings towards their favor, then oh boy, we got ourselves hell of a ride coming for the 2013-2014 season. But if it goes the wrong way and Oden ends up not being as healthy and as valuable as many suspect, then that’s one roster spot that went to hell.
Oden said it was a “big deciding factor” that Heat officials made it clear to him that he “wouldn’t be needed as much early in the season” as he works his way back from more than three years out of the league.
The place that he learned he wouldn’t be needed early was the more interesting story, though, as Oden’s agent — Mike Conley, Sr. — told Fox Sports Florida that his meeting with head coach Erik Spoelstra had a profound effect on his decision.
“He really liked talking with Erik at Chili’s,” Conley said. “I think that played a major role. He just felt very comfortable with him.”
Dinner at Chili’s isn’t usually a precursor to closing the deal, but it apparently worked the Heat. That and the fact that Oden felt wanted in South Beach, anyway.
“Obviously the chance to play with the best player in the world and compete for a championship was a big selling point,” Oden told me. “But more than that, what I really liked was how they thought I could really add something to their team. They’ve won back-to-back championships without me, so for them to pursue me as hard as they did meant a lot, especially given all that I’ve gone through.”
The terms of the deal were kept private for now, but apparently its a two-year deal with the first year at a league minimum and the second year being a player option.
More details coming soon for sure. Let’s hope this goes towards the Heat’s favor.
Source: USA Today