The day of Greg Oden deciding what his next NBA team will be is getting closer, but it’s not only his decision. The Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings are going to send representatives to watch the center work out in person, while the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs are also in the running to sign him.
As of now, the Heat and the Spurs are the favorites to get Oden, with the Heat having a slight edge. It’s easy to see the interest for both sides. The Miami Heat need size, even if it means for a very limited number of minutes, while they present the best chance of winning. The Spurs, who along with the Mavs have had face-to-face time with Oden, arguably offer the same kind of incentive from the West.
As for the others? It’s hard to say what’s the most important thing that Oden is looking for, but the Pelicans, who also want to see just how three knee microfracture surgeries and seven overall have left their imprint on the 25-year old who hasn’t played an NBA game since 2009, can and will give him more money once he’s cleared to play for them; possibly a two-year deal worth $6 million, in order to get the upper hand over obviously better teams.
The Mavs and the Kings are taking a backseat in the chase, knowing that both their financial options and their overall attractiveness as organizations are limited compared to the other choices Oden has. Dallas have been taking backwards steps since winning the NBA title in 2011, while the Kings seem to be in limbo every season.
For now it seems like a waiting game on both sides: Oden trying to pick up as much interest as possible from around the league with plenty of teams looking to add a relatively cheap center, and big men are always hard to come by, while the Heat, Pelicans and Kings will get the first chance to see just how much sitting out an entire year to help himself build up for a comeback helped Oden remain an NBA-caliber player, if at all.