Although Greg Oden decided he would sign with the Miami Heat, just a week ago his agent hinted that the former number one overall draft pick wasn’t very interested in a big market or a team that would have the spotlight thrust on him.
Of course, he picked a relatively large market and quite possibly the most popular/scrutinized team in the league, completely opposite of what his agent suggested.
Teams like the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans were considered some of the favorites to land Oden, given the requests Oden’s agent brought to the table and no more than a few days ago, Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears said that the Pelicans were near the top of Oden’s list.
They of course weren’t selected, but it wasn’t because they didn’t try. According to ESPN, the Pelicans offered a contract at least double of what the Miami Heat offered, yet, he didn’t take it:
New Orleans, sources said, was one team that offered at least twice what Miami was offering for next season. But Oden scoffed at concerns that he’s needlessly thrusting himself back into the spotlight instead of launching his comeback with more of an under-the-radar franchise.
Miami is paying Oden just over $2 million dollars for a two year contract, with the second year being a player option.
It’s certainly hard to begrudge Oden as Miami was about as ideal of a situation he could have found – an obvious Championship contender with significant playing time available. Though, I’m sure there’s a sour taste left in the mouth of Pelican fans who thought they might cash in that lottery ticket.