Report: Heat may make play for Greg Oden
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  1. caseyholdahl
    Posts: 246

    Posted 12/04/2011 10:14 AM

    Brian Windhorst over at is reporting the Miami Heat, runners-up last year to the Dallas Mavericks, are considering making a run at restricted free agent Greg Oden:

     The Heat are considering making a run at restricted free agent Greg Oden, league sources said. Oden, who hasn't played in nearly two years after suffering two different knee injuries, has a key doctor's examination this week when he could be cleared to resume contact practices.

    Oden has a one-year qualifying offer from the Portland Trail Blazers for $8.9 million on his plate at the moment. The most the Heat could offer is the bulk of the $5 million mid-level exception.

    For these reasons, it would seem like an easy choice for Oden if he can return to the floor, which could come as early as January. By making the hefty qualifying offer, the Blazers indicated they have not given up hope even though Oden has only played 82 games since being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in 2007.

    But Heat president Pat Riley is known for his powers of persuasion and last year convinced free agent after free agent to take less money to sign in Miami. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller all took less money than they were offered elsewhere.

    It happened right up until March, when Mike Bibby gave up $6 million guaranteed for this season so he could sign with the Heat for a few months at a portion of the league minimum.

    I'm certainly not going to argue that Miami isn't in a unique position to lure free agents despite not being able to make the best offer. The the draw of playing alongside LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh is a strong one, and players, as the article mentions, have taken less to play alongside the Heats' "Big Three."

    But Oden's situation is quite a bit different. Players like Mike Bibby, Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem (not to mention James, Wade and Bosh) might have taken less to play in Miami, but those players break out into two categories -- superstars and veterans nearing the ends of their careers -- and Oden belongs to neither. It's not like he'd be making $16 million a year instead of $18 million, which is the case with James and Bosh. He'd be making $5 million, if that, instead of close to $9 million. That's a much steeper discount, both in percentages and real dollars, than any of Miami's big free agent acquisitions accepted.

    And while I'm sure Greg, like every other player worth his salt, would rather win a championship sooner rather than later, I doubt he's reach the point in his career where he's "chasing" a title (see Miller, Haslem, Bibby), especially if it means taking considerably less money.

    There are also issues at play which have nothing to do with money. I don't pretend to know Greg all that well, but I have spent some time around him and I do believe, on a certain level, he feels like he "owes" something to the franchise and the city in general. So in the absence of a much better offer, I think that sense of duty increases the chances of Greg staying in Portland.

    I also know, which much greater authority, that Greg isn't too keen on media frenzies, and there's no team in sports that has the kind of public interest, and everything that goes along with it, that the Heat have. I don't know that the warm weather and white sand beaches cancel that out.

    This report comes on the heels of Jason Quick's story yesterday stating Oden's agent, Bill Duffy, believes this client is leaning towards resigning with the Trail Blazers.
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/04/2011 10:50 AM

    I just don't see them having enough money to lure any RFA their way. Also, as unfortunate as his career has gone in Portland, for the most part, I think the pressure is "off" to live up to the Bill Russell hype. If he goes to a large market like Miami, in particular the circus that is the Big 3, the spotlight will shine brighter than it ever would have in the Rose City. Not sure Greg wants to go through that again. 
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  1. Kassandra
    Posts: 466

    Posted 12/04/2011 10:54 AM

    nothing against Windhorst, but i would wage the next pizza i get with Julianne and say that Oden is not the only free agent miami may be considering. though we don't know what Riley is thinking, i think Greg is just one name on his list.

    over the past couple of years, there have been no shortage of discussions regarding Greg's future. i'm not sure i don't take Duffy's statement as lip service. he may mean it. Greg may have made up his mind regarding the blazers' qualifying offer. i do get the impression he thinks he "owes" portland something for its patience. could that be his determining factor in his decision? perhaps. i know that many fans feel he owes the team (not so sure i would go that far, though i understand the reasoning).

    ultimately, i don't think miami's offer is going to be enough to woo Greg. i doubt any other teams have the potential to offer or other motivating factors to attract Greg. my feeling is that he returns to the blazers.

    ~ KMM
    I am a fan of my team fighting to win each and every game.
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/04/2011 11:39 AM

    Also, speaking of Greg's RFA status, I think that helps Portland during this free agency period. With the time to sign free agents shrunk to a little over a week, is a team going to want to have their money tied up on Oden for 3 days as our front office mulls over the decision of whether to match or not? If we match, that team missed out on Greg and they fall behind the pack for other free agents who either already signed or are being courted by other franchises. 
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  1. Herr
    Posts: 643

    Posted 12/04/2011 12:12 PM

    If Greg Oden moved anywhere in the league besides Miami, he would look like a bad guy, dumping Portland after Portland put millions into him and spent the last 4 years working with him.

     If he moved to Miami, he would be the worst player in the league.  Not skilled wise, but when it comes to media frenzy, and we already know Greg is having emotional problems with the current media frenzy he gets in small Portland.

     I think Greg knows this, or at least I hope he does.   I also don't see him basically slicing his paycheck in half to go to a place where expectations would double and everyone has both eyes on him.  Thus, I am not worried about Miami taking Greg Oden.
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