The Miami Heat are fresh off back-to-back championships. They played a lot of small-ball during the season, with notable players playing positions they really aren’t used to. That was highlighted by Chris Bosh, who took over the center position this year. This clearly isn’t a role Bosh will ever be comfortable in as he struggled in the playoffs matching up with guys that were just bigger in size.
The Heat should be looking to bolster their interior this off-season as teams like the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls have shown they have enough size to expose the Heat’s weakness. Even if the Heat still win the Eastern Conference next year, there are still teams in the West that can also knock them around inside.
That’s why it is being reported that there is mutual interest between the Heat and former number one overall pick Greg Oden. His agent, Mike Conley, has stated that the Heat have shown interest in Oden and that he would be interested in joining the Miami Heat.
If Oden does eventually sign with the Heat, it will most likely be a cheap deal. The Heat are already over the luxury tax and would not want to go even deeper with a more decent type of deal.
Oden wouldn’t need to become the star big man the Portland Trail Blazers thought he would be some years back if he ended up in Miami. He would provide more depth for a team that is simply too small. When the Heat match up with a Chicago (Noah) or an Indiana (Hibbert), they could turn to Oden with confidence to shut them down.
The move might even help Chris Bosh stay in Miami. With Bosh’s struggles this postseason, many have speculated a possible trade in the near future. However, if Oden took over the center position, Bosh could go back to his natural spot, power forward. Chances are his play would pick back up to his first season with the Heat when he averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds.
This deal seems like it could be a low-risk, high-reward for the Heat. However, Oden will need to show that he can stay healthy for it to be even worthwhile to pursue him. He has failed to show that he can accomplish that for just about all of his NBA career.
Oden hasn’t played since the 2009-10 season when he averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in just 23.9 minutes. That small sample shows that he is capable of being an effective big man. He still just needs to prove that he can stay on the floor. He is only 25 years old. He still has time to turnaround his career in a positive direction. Let’s see if the Heat give him the chance.