The return of former Ohio State and Portland Trail Blazers big man Greg Oden was one of the best story lines of the entire 2013-2014 NBA season. Despite the unfortunate way in which the season ended for Oden’s new team, the Miami Heat, Pat Riley took to the air on Thursday and announced that the organization would like to bring Oden back to the fold for the 2014-2015 campaign.
Pat Riley said a severe back injury kept Greg Oden out of games late this past season, but Heat would like to have him return.
— Lori Schmidt (@LoriSchmidt) June 19, 2014
It has been well-documented that the NBA career of the now 26-year-old Oden has not gone according to plan, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Heat would look to re-sign him for next season. The former number one overall pick was highly effective when he was on the floor for Miami, posting a respectable 12.40 PER while averaging 11.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per 36 minutes, and because of his relative “upside”, a minimum contract would seem to be beneficial to both sides.
There have been rumors that the Heat are unsure about Greg Oden’s desire to re-sign, but with the big man stating that he wants to return to the league next season, Miami would seem to be the most logical destination. Gone are the days when there were still “superstar” aspirations for Oden as a player, but it should not be ignored that he has been quite good when his health has allowed him to play, and his attitude remains commendable in the face of overwhelming physical adversity.