Free agent center Greg Oden has generated interest from a number of teams as he searches for a home to make his NBA comeback, but the former No. 1 overall pick could end up making an interesting decision. The Miami Heat are said to be the favorites to land Oden, but he also has interest from New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio, Atlanta and Dallas.
Interestingly enough, the belief now is that Oden could end up choosing a team that is rebuilding for his comeback so that there is “less pressure”.
Should Oden reach a deal with Miami, the spotlight on him will be hotter than with any of the other five. He’ll risk being seen as something of a front-runner, as he would to a lesser extent with the Spurs.
Any of the teams lower in the pecking order — the Pelicans, Kings, or Hawks — could offer more modest expectations. And if Oden were to stay healthy and help one of them, he might find himself with more supporters nationally and globally than he would by jumping aboard the Miami or San Antonio bandwagons.
“We’ve looked at all the scenarios,” Duffy said Friday. “There might be less pressure if he tries this with a team that’s rebuilding. Then again, the quality of the medical staff will matter. Maybe a winning team has chemistry that’s good or his role would be clearly defined.”
While Oden failed to live up to the pressure of being a No. 1 overall pick, the pressure of being a free agent signee that is considered a bust is not that great.
Whatever team signs Oden is not expecting to bring in a star, but simply a big man that can add depth to the roster and provide some quality minutes off the bench. In the end, that will likely be the Miami Heat.
After all, pressure or not, the ultimate goal is to take home a NBA championship and the Heat give Oden the greatest chance of doing that.