The Miami Heat are the reigning two-time NBA Champions. They’ve made three straight NBA Finals appearances with the Big Three—LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh—and they are the favorites to win the championship again in 2013-14.
Although the Brooklyn Nets made a huge splash as soon as the season ended by adding ex-Celtics stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to their roster, the Eastern Conference still remains a weak conference. It’ll be spiced up a bit in 2013-14 with Derrick Rose returning to the Chicago Bulls, and the Indiana Pacers gaining another year of experience.
But the Heat remain the alpha team out east.
In the Western Conference, things are bit more interesting, as the Houston Rockets added Dwight Howard to pair up with James Harden. Together they look to battle through a tough Western Conference in order to meet the Heat in the Finals. You’ll also have the Oklahoma City Thunder with Kevin Durant and a healthy Russell Westbrook. The San Antonio Spurs will be up there yet again (a year older of course) and the Memphis Grizzlies look to finally break through to the very elite, as they signed former Heat swingman Mike Miller on Wednesday.
The Heat have kept their main core together. James, Wade, Bosh, Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole will all be back next season. That’s about as well as any Heat fan could have hoped for considering the luxury tax situation.
Now, rumors have been circulating that the Heat are setting their sights on Greg Oden.
Oden’s story is already known. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden has been a bust. Six years later, he’s played in 82 career games—the equivalent of one full NBA season—due to numerous knee injuries derailing his NBA career.
But here’s the thing—he’s a no-risk signing for the Heat.
If the Heat bring Oden’s talents to South Beach, what’s the worst that could happen?
The Heat are considering signing Oden to a $1 million contract—the veteran’s minimum—because if they sign him to $3.2 million mid-level exception, it would wind up costing them more than triple that amount due to the luxury tax.
The Heat are well over the luxury tax, and owner Micky Arison has gone all-in in an effort to build this Heat team into a dynasty.
If Oden suffers an injury—yet again—the Heat will be fine on the court. The Heat’s weakness in 2011-12 during their first championship run with this roster was their lack of a big man who could patrol the paint. They have that now in Andersen. That was the key difference between the 12-13 team and the 11-12 team.
If Oden doesn’t pan out for Miami, the Heat will be fine.
If the former Ohio State product does pan out for Miami?
It’s yet another defensive presence that opposing teams will have to deal with.
For a team that’s already as stacked as it is, that would just be icing on the cake.