Miami Heat among teams to watch Greg Oden’s workout
Three teams – including the Heat – watched as center Greg Oden, whose career has been plagued by knee injuries, ran through drills.
07/24/2013 12:01 AM
09/23/2013 6:52 PM
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra met with Greg Oden and watched him work out Tuesday in Indianapolis, as Miami continued to explore signing the seven-foot center whose career has been sidetracked by knee injuries.
Chet Kammerer, the Heat’s vice president/player personnel, joined Spoelstra at the workout, which was also attended by officials from the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans.
Bill Duffy, one of Oden’s agents, said Oden likely will pick a team next week and that every team that has shown interest “remains under strong consideration.”
Besides the Heat, Kings and Pelicans, that list also includes the Mavericks and Spurs — who met with Oden previously — and the Atlanta Hawks, who will watch him work out Thursday.
Another of Oden’s agents, Mike Conley Sr., said last week the Heat has as good a chance of any team but stopped short of calling Miami the front-runner.
Duffy said Oden did “a lot of on-court work” during Tuesday’s session and “looked very good.” This was the second time the Heat has met with Oden. He traveled to Miami to visit with Heat president Pat Riley earlier this year.
Oden did not do a traditional on-court workout against another player because he has not been cleared for contact and is not expected to be until August.
Oden, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 Draft, hasn’t played since December 2009 because of knee problems. His agents have said he is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Riley said recently he believes Oden can help the Heat “if he’s healthy. I mean, he had five major surgeries. But I think if he’s healthy, he’s still young .
“Sometimes, you can go back to a half a dozen athletes that started their careers — Kurt Thomas with the broken feet, [Zydrunas] Ilgauskas — there have been a number of players that started their career missing two or three years with injuries and then all of a sudden they never had another problem again. He’s young enough to maybe be able to get by this, and only time will tell. But if he’s healthy, obviously I think he would be able to help teams, yes.”
Oden has appeared in just 82 NBA games and averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 22.1 minutes per game.
The Heat could offer Oden a contract at the league minimum ($1 million, in his case) or its $3.2 million midlevel exception. Miami appears willing to offer the minimum if he’s healthy, but it’s questionable if it would offer exception money to a player who has not played in nearly four years.
Meanwhile, free agent center Marcus Camby has interest in the Heat, Bulls and Rockets. The Heat has inquired but is not believed to have made a formal offer as of Monday.
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