Greg Oden has not seen an NBA court since Dec. 5, 2009 and yet the center is one of the most sought after free agents during this offseason. Since 2009, Oden has undergone several surgeries to repair his troubled knees and has been attempting an NBA comeback ever since. Oden has been impressing in his rehab and according to Yahoo! Sports, he has interest from almost eight teams.
Marc Spears reports that Oden is gaining interest from the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers just to name a few. The list of possible suitors goes on, several looking like real contenders to sign the former No. 1 draft pick. If Oden is healthy, he could really bring something to a team. When he was last playing, Oden averaged 16.7 points per game and 12.8 rebounds in 36 minutes. He is as tantalizing as risky.
The Miami Heat need size after playing small for two years. They have not had a true center, relying on Chris Bosh to cover the position when need me. The team could return to a more traditional lineup with Oden. They were showing interest during the regular season, but deemed Oden still too unhealthy to sign. Now that Oden is almost done with rehab, the Heat are back in the mix.
The Spurs are risking losing Tiago Splitter to free agency if he receives a favorable offer sheet. That would leave an open spot to play alongside Tim Duncan. The Cleveland Cavaliers are another team that appeared interested during the regular season and are popping up again. They have a crowed frontcourt, but could take the chance.
Other possible suitors include the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers. The Celtics have done an overhaul of their roster recently and Oden could step in for quality minutes of the bench. He would fit the young potential Danny Ainge is seeking. If the Pacers add Oden, they would have one of the bigger teams in the league with the 25-year-old playing behind Roy Hibbert.
Any team willing to give Oden a contract will have to show a lot of patience. He is clearly still not ready to take the court in a game and may not be ready until later in the season. He has been showing a lot of progress in his rehabbing, but no one knows exactly where his health stands. A team would be banking more on potential rather than proven ability. Oden was the No. 1 overall pick for a reason and most people are hoping he can tap into that once again.