Mar 8, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; NBA free agent Greg Oden walks along the court after the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers 103-92 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Heat, Spurs Favorites To Sign Greg Oden


Greg Oden is nearing a decision and will host three teams, including the Miami Heat, this week to watch him work out (as fun as that sounds), according to an ESPN.com report.

The other teams that will watch Oden do stuff are the New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings.

However, the same report maintains that the San Antonio Spurs and Heat remain Oden’s top suitors. So now the Spurs and Heat find themselves facing off again for the services of the 7-footer.

Both teams offer Oden a chance to compete for a title in a low-pressure environment and the luxury to work himself back to game-day shape at his pace, and eventually into the lineup.

The Spurs resigned Tiago Splitter and are comfortable at center, but with DeJaun Blair not resigned, could use Oden as a developmental guy with low risk and high reward.

The Heat also view Oden as a low-risk, high-reward player but have a little more depth at center, with Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen locked up and Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem still on the roster.

However, Oden would be a change-of-pace from who the Heat currently have — no true center — where as the Spurs already have a true center in Splitter.

So who should Oden pick? Let’s break down the choices:

May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich looks on during the second quarter in game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Spurs defeated the Warriors 94-82. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs

Pros

  • The Spurs could offer Oden more playing time. Why? They can plug him into the rotation without having to dramatically change style-of-play and has a lack of depth at the position.
  • Less spotlight equals not being asked the “when are you coming back?” question every day.
  • Gregg Popovich (just ask Tim Duncan, Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili)

Cons

  • On the other hand, it could be harder for Oden to earn playing time due to the relative redundancy from Splitter to Oden.
  • Aging roster – is it where he wants to be long term?
  • San Antonio < Miami
  • Gregg Popovich (just ask Stephen Jackson)

Jun 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Fans cheer while holding mask with the image of LeBron James during the Miami Heat Championship celebration parade in downtown Miami. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat

Pros

  • Oden offers the Heat a specific need, which could equate to consistent playing time.
  • Miami > San Antonio
  • Opportunity to play alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
  • LeBron James
  • LeBron James
  • Strong locker room. I know you could say “well, hey, wait, the Spurs have a strong locker room.” But, hey, wait, do they? Just ask Stephen Jackson (I know, you shouldn’t take life advice from Jackson, but still). See what he said about the Spurs’ locker room on Dan Le Batard’s show. Does Popp play favorites?
  • LeBron James

Cons

  • The spotlight and constant badgering that comes with playing in Miami could get, well, annoying. But would LeBron and the Boys absorb some of that badgering?
  • Heat style of play (aka fast, transition centric) could wear on Oden’s knees.
  • Can Oden figure out the Heat’s defense to earn playing time?

More on that last bit: The Heat play a very unique style of defense from the rest of the league. The main difference being the fact that most teams sit back when defending the pick-and-roll, while the Heat still opt to blitz the ball handler. Because of this, the Heat rely on timely and precise help on the backside of the play. This “blitz-and-help” defense can be a struggle for some players.

However, if a player offers something specifically helpful, such as being a great three-point shooter (Mike Miller and James Jones) then he can still earn playing time. Even if Oden can’t get a handle of this defense, his size and athleticism could be enough to warrant some playing time.

So there it is. It’s clear which team Oden should choose, right? Nothing helps like a simple list of pros and cons.

Tags: Free Agency Greg Oden Miami Heat Nba Rumors San Antonio Spurs

  • Dolfan4life87

    HEAT all day. It’s really not as close as it seems..he’d be a fool not to choose to “take his talents to SB”!! C’mon Greg, let’s do this- 3Peat

    • Jason Klenetsky

      Never fear, Pat Riley will say and or do whatever is needed and that’ll be that. I have no doubt that when Oden shows he’s healthy he will join Miami on a threepeat run. Bring on your Hibberts an your Duncans. Lets Go Heat!!

  • edgargn_1218

    Yeah he can help em 3 peat and be a non factor or try to be one and blow both his knees in the process all trying to reach easy and quick glory. Or he can go to the Spurs where Pop will limit his minutes for his own good, Chip Engeland will help him with his shot and Timmy will teach him the ins an outs of being a HOF er. Where he can actually have a lasting impact and a decent to good career behind the greatest power forward ever. Not to mention ease his way into beast mode if he ever does reach his potential. The best shot of being successful is with the Spurs. Period. Of course it´s not gonna happen overnight like it would in Miami. But the risk of injury will be much less with the Spurs. He´s not gonna pressured to contribute right away.

    • Dolfan4life87

      If he cares more about fishing during the end of June rather than parading down Biscayne

      • edgargn_1218

        It´s easy to parade down biscayne when it´s Miami´s seven against the Spur´s five on the court. What do I mean seven vs. five? Just Joey Crawford helping Lecry every other game and the last 2 were so rigged it was obvious who NBA wanted to win. Miami´s been handed 2 straight championships but remember David Stern won´t be there next year so I seriously doubt Miami will 3 peat.

        • Dolfan4life87

          U sound like every other sore loser team’s fan who’s jealous that LeBron didn’t pick their team..first it was last year (it wasn’t a full schedule, so it doesn’t really count b.s.), then we win one after a full season & now it’s David Stern & the refs fault. Excuses, excuses. Don’t be sore about it- ur team just got out-coached (benching Duncan the end of Game 6) & outplayed (Manu Ginobili’s Whoodini disappearing act). Now, when we win next year (no lockout, no David Stern) I don’t want to hear that same old b.s.from the haters..the Spurs had their time to shine during the 2000′s & were a nec heck of a dynasty..it’s time to recognize a new dynasty in the making when u see one.

          • edgargn_1218

            I don´t deny the CHeat is a very good team. They got the best player on the planet yeah okay agreed. But I wouldn´t call them a dynasty just cause they clustered various stars in the same spot and paid all sorts of marketing to buy themselves not one, not two and so on and so forth. They come from the Least anyway, they got no competition out there. They aren´t playing no powerhouse teams. So dynasty, I think not. Lakers and Spurs have been dynasties. Come talk to me when the Cheat win a championship legitimately. No excuses, no sour grapes like you say, just the truth. And I´ll admit, Spurs bungled it but I know for a fact had Joey Crawford and co. not helped out the CHeat Spurs would have won in 5 or 6. Miami is not some super team like you and all the rest of Lecry´s peter puffers think they are. If they were, Spurs would of been swept.

          • Kris Mahmood

            I never said they were a super-team- that’s u & all the other haters out there saying that..they’re just 3 of the top 20 nba players in the league that we were able to haul on during free agency & who were willing to take significant pay cuts to make it happen. I think that had u guys not had ur own big 3, u guys would’ve been trying to pull off the same free agency coup we did back in ’10. The east may be weak, but then again, I didn’t see any so called “powerhouse” from the West stop us, w the exception of Dallas (which was also our 1st yr together, needing time to gel, plus the weak supporting cast we had) it wasn’t until we improved our bench quality (battier, Norris Cole, a somewhat healthy Mike Miller) that we were able to get over the hill- thus proving tio me that they weren’t just some superteam ready to dominate, all because LeBron & Bosh decided to play with Wade down here. Plus, U guys may not have gotten ur big 3 in free agency, but u guys did help to start the transition of the big 3 era in the nba. U guys laid the blueprints for success in today’s nba