Four years. Four targets. Four successes.
After weeks worth of waiting, and months worth of courting in the Miami Heat’s case, former number one pick Greg Oden has decided to sign with the Heat. The decision comes after Oden had worked out for several teams, including last year’s NBA Finals runner-up, San Antonio.
The deal was first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
While the deal has yet to be finalized, it is supposedly for two years with the second year being a player option and the worth being that of the minimum, usually in the $1 million range.
He expressed his reasoning behind the signing to Grantland:
“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.”
Oden hasn’t played a game in the NBA since December of 2009. He has undergone a slew of knee surgeries since being drafted number one by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007.
He is still not nearly in game-shape, but still has nearly three months to prepare before the start of the regular season. Even then, his role on the team will be minimal as he’ll most likely share time with Chris Andersen playing at the five.
Nevertheless, it’s a win-win situation for Miami. If Oden’s healthy, the Heat have a player who could potentially dominate. If he’s not, then it’s a veterans minimum deal, the same the likes of Eddy Curry and Rashard Lewis have received, and not too much damage done.
The official signing won’t be until next week.