VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Agent says Heat to sign Greg Oden

MIAMI (AP) - Greg Oden still needs some time to get ready for the rigors of playing in the NBA.

Advertisement
He no longer needs a new team, however.

The former No. 1 overall draft pick has chosen to sign with the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat, ending months of suspense over where the center whose career has been decimated by a series of knee problems would be attempting his comeback. The Heat were long perceived as the frontrunners to land Oden, and now have a 7-footer to help them try for a third straight title.

Mike Conley Sr., one of Oden's agents, said Friday night that the former Portland center accepted an offer worth about $1 million for this coming season and would have a player option for 2014-15.

``He just thought that it was the best fit for him, where he's at and especially for how it relates to him coming back,'' Conley said. ``He can be on a winning team and be working his way in slowly.''

The contract is expected to be formally signed early next week, Conley said.

``I think a 7-footer can help any team,'' Heat point guard Mario Chalmers said. ``They're hard to find. I've known Greg since our high school days, talked to him a couple of times about this and you just hope for the best.''

Oden told ESPN.com on Friday night that he still has ``a lot of work to do.''

And during their recruiting process, the Heat were obviously cognizant of that. Oden has not played in the NBA since fracturing his kneecap in a game on Dec. 5, 2009, but the Heat surely will not expect him to play big minutes right away, given that they are bringing back most of the rotation that won the last two league titles and will almost certainly be favored to win a third next season.

When meeting with Oden last month in Indianapolis, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra laid out what Miami's plans would be as far as potential roles and the former Ohio State star's ongoing rehabilitation, and whatever got said in that conversation resonated throughout the remainder of the decision-making process.

``The fact that Coach Spoelstra said all the right things, understood where he was at and what he wants, that impressed Greg quite a bit,'' Conley said.

Oden is the second No. 1 pick on the Heat roster, joining LeBron James, the top overall draft selection in 2003 - and someone who developed quite an affinity for Oden's game when the center was at Ohio State. Oden wound up leaving college after one season, then was taken by Portland at the top of the 2007 draft.

It was a spectacular failure, thanks to an array of injuries. Oden played in just 82 games - the equivalent of one full NBA season - during his four-plus years in the Blazers' organization, averaging 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on 58 percent shooting.

Oden's health issues have dogged him since he was drafted. Right knee microfracture surgery - a procedure used to develop new, healthy cartilage - ended what would have been his rookie season before it ever started. He made his long-awaited NBA debut on Oct. 28, 2008, and sprained his right foot in that game, sidelining him for two weeks.

His next major injury issue came in February of that season, when he chipped his left kneecap and missed about a month. Oden returned for the final 21 games of that season - 15 before the playoffs, then six more in the postseason, when Portland was ousted by the Rockets.

He's played in a total of 21 games since, and the fractured kneecap in 2009 came just as he seemed to be hitting his best NBA stride. Another microfracture surgery awaited him in November 2010, and a third one was needed early in 2012, essentially ending his career with the Blazers. He was waived in March 2012.

``Time will tell,'' Heat president Pat Riley said earlier this summer, when asked if Oden could still be effective.

San Antonio, New Orleans, Dallas, Atlanta and Sacramento also were believed to be seriously vying for Oden this summer, with a handful of other clubs expressing a lower level of interest.

``The scenario at San Antonio made sense for him also,'' Conley said. ``You have a coach there in Gregg Popovich that's used to bringing players back slowly and Tim Duncan to learn from. He was definitely impressed with Mark Cuban in Dallas and meeting him, and he's really good friends with (coach) Monty Williams at New Orleans. It wasn't cut and dry across the board for Miami.''

Still, the Heat won out, and did so at a bargain price.

Miami used the amnesty provision on Mike Miller last month, a move that could save the team more than $35 million in luxury-tax payments over the next two years. Oden likely could have gotten more money elsewhere, but the Heat have shown many times over the last three summers that they can get players to take less money in exchange for being part of a title-contending team.

``He wants to compete for championships,'' Conley said.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Heat snap Celtics' 16-game hot streak
Westbrook leads OKC past Warriors
Pelicans take care of Spurs, 'under' hits
LeBron lifts Cavs in 4th to beat Nets
76ers rout Blazers from start to finish
Knicks rally to top Raptors, 108-100
Clippers end 9-game skid, beat Hawks
Hornets outlast Wizards in OT, 129-124
Clips PG Beverley undergoes surgery
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
7-1 Last 8, 16-3 Win Streak
8-1 L9, 11-2 L13 Selections
8-2 L10, 12-3 Run, 68% +1,297 TY
3-0 L3, 9-2 L7 Days, 19-7 G-Plays
4-1 L5, 15-6 L7 Days, 21-9 L30
7 NBA Wins in a Row
3-1 L4, 8-3 Run, 12-5 L17 G-Plays
15-7 L22 Picks, 11-3 L14 G-Plays
3-1 Record Last 4 Picks
4-2 G-Plays, 5-1 Totals, 14-7 Picks
7-3 L10 NBA Guarantees
6-3 Record Last 5 Days
5-2 Last 7 NBA Guarantees
4-0 Last 4, 9-3 G-Plays TY
5-2 L7 G-Plays, 2-0 L2 Totals
9-3 Guaranteed Plays TY
4-1 L5 Totals, 5-2 L7 G-Plays
5-2 L5 Days, 17-9 L26 Selections
4-1 G-Play Run, 13-4 L17 Totals
3-0 Record Last 2 Days
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks - Mark Franco
2017 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 1497
Ben Burns + 911
Bill Marzano + 838
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Ben Burns + 680
The Gold Sheet + 575
Mark Franco + 485
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Mark Franco 70 %
Michael Black 70 %
Marc Lawrence 64 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 935
Mark Franco + 930
Doc's Sports + 802
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 979
Jimmy Boyd + 922
Don Anthony + 290
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 654
Bruce Marshall + 411
Mark Franco + 367
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership