Miami Heat Rumors: Greg Oden Key to Third Championship Says Scout, Center Priority After Marcus Camby Signs with Houston Rockets

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Jul 29, 2013 11:49 AM EDT
Greg Oden
Portland Trailblazers center Greg Oden slams dunk and is called for a technical foul against the Boston Celtics in the first quarter action during their NBA basketball game.(Photo : Reuters) "

A one-time draft bust is now being considered the x-factor to an NBA championship? According to Miami Heat scout Tim Hardaway, Greg Oden is exactly what the team needs to win their third-straight NBA title. Makes sense, right?

It is only July and far too early to be making any sort of the NBA predictions, but after getting a look at Oden in workouts recently, Hardaway walked away extremely impressed.

"If we get Greg Oden, I think we will win a third title," Hardaway told Fox Sports Florida.

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That is certainly a bold prediction considering Oden has not played in an NBA game since Dec. 2009 and has undergone more knee surgeries than most players see in their entire career. The one-time No. 1 overall draft pick was considered to have all the NBA talent in the world, but injuries overshadowed all of that.

Now apparently completely healthy, Oden worked out for six teams and is likely to sign with one this week. ESPN's Marc Stein reports Oden appeared to move well, looking very lean and in shape. Multiple teams could use Oden's size, especially the Miami Heat who face teams like the Indiana Pacers who have nothing but size on the roster.

Oden is reportedly very intrigued by the Heat, but also likes what he sees from the New Orleans Pelicans. The center is trying to decide whether or not he wants to make his comeback in a city where the media spotlight is very big or go to a team where there is little pressure to make an immediate impact.

The next step is for teams to begin making formal offers to Oden. Money will likely play the biggest factor in his decision over location. Oden is looking for a contract that offers the most guaranteed money possible. No one truly knows that Oden can offer to a franchise and whether or not he will even be able to play immediately at the start of the 2013 season. He has only played a handful of games since being drafted, so it will be interesting to see what teams are willing to commit to Oden in a contract.

Oden is deciding between Miami, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio, Atlanta and Dallas. The Heat and Pelicans are the likely frontrunners unless another team makes a giant contract offer.

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