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Report: Pelicans move onto list for Greg Oden; Heat, Spurs still front-runners

Jul 16, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

greg_oden Getty Images

For a guy who hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since 2009 and whose ability to contribute remains in question, there is a lot of effort going into the recruiting of Greg Oden.

Miami and San Antonio remain the front-runners to land the center and former No. 1 pick, and the Dallas Mavericks are pushing their way into the mix also.

Now you can add the Pelicans to the list, too, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that the Pelicans have been booked for a Wednesday sitdown with Oden and will also get serious consideration from the former No. 1 overall pick as he decides where to relaunch his career after being sidelined since early in the 2009-10 season.

The Pelicans, sources said, are building their pitch around the fact that going to New Orleans would enable Oden to make his comeback far away from the media glare and with no immediate pressure to cope with as he tries again to bounce back from the knee issues that have limited the 25-year-old to just 82 career regular-season games since being drafted in 2007.

Ahh, the old “nobody pays attention to us, so come here” pitch. Interesting tactic. Certainly if Oden does sign on with Miami there would be much more media attention. Then again, as you can tell from just his recruitment, whenever Oden lands there will be attention paid to him.

Miami still remains the most likely landing spot, as Pat Riley has worked to forge this relationship. But Oden has listened to both Dallas and will now listen to New Orleans — teams that could spend more than the league minimum on a deal for Oden if they so wished (Miami cannot).

Oden is wisely going to take his time with this decision; he has no reason to rush it.

  1. justanacehole - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    You can’t teach old man knees size.

  2. whitdog23 - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    be a ridiculous signing of Bynum proportion

    • spursareold - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      Anyone signing a man with three microfracture knee surgeries under his belt for anything over the minimum is beyond foolish. No one has ever played in the NBA with that medical history.

      Greg, stop f’ing around, pick a team, and sign for the minimum. You have to show that you can still play. You’re young enough so that if you can play regular (even reduced) minutes, you’ll get paid.

  3. ace8842 - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    how do the Heat have money to sign all these players? This is a problem with the NBA…the rich seem to get richer all the time….disparity.

  4. halfbaht - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Oden to the spurs I think would be the best fit. 3rd centre behind Dunc and Splitter. Could give some valuable mins off the bench.

  5. tvz33 - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    U can’t tell me there’s ONLY 1 big men to choose from out in NBA land, Oden! Stupid question when’s da last time he’s played, ’09 (Sam Bowie reincarnated) this dude aint gunna help any1’s team, U all R, stupid?

  6. money2long - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    they were showing highlights of oden on sportscenter , and i saw yao ming on the basketball court. oden’s been away for a while.

  7. savagedolfan - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    If Oden is looking for a ring, only a ring, then I would say he signs with the Spurs. He can learn from Duncan and with time, if his knees hold, take the realm from Duncan in a couple of years. If he wants more playing time, I believe Miami would be the best fit for time and a chance to be a part of a historic run at a threepeat. My bet, Oden chases the money to compensate him in his efforts to returning to the NBA. I can’t blame him, I would probably do the same if someone were to offer a lucrative deal for someone out of basketball for 3 years. May be the last decent contract he gets. That being said, I would love to see this guy in a Heat uniform. It would be amazing to see him and Hibbert fight for position under the rim. Back to old school ball.

    • bucrightoff - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      I mean if he wanted a ring wouldn’t he go to Miami? I mean getitng through the East is still a lot easier for Miami than getting through the West with San Antonio. I think he would be wise to go to San Antonio is he wants to be given the optimum conditions to maximize his remaining potential because no one is better than Popovich at that. But if he wants the ring, Miami is still a better option.

      Also, why not Phoenix? They have that All-World training staff that kept Steve Nash going, and of course as soon as he leaves Phoenix he’s totally broken down. They do wonders out there with that staff, I think they could do well with Oden. Of course they’re nowhere close to competiting for anything, but I’m sure they would be the best at keeping him healthy.

      • spursareold - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        Spurs went 12-2 to get to the FInals. Heat went 12-4. You might want to re-think that position.

        Besides, Miami won’t make the Finals this year. In the modern NBA, it’s almost impossible to make 4 Finals in a row. A Finals run is like you playing 100+ games and everyone else playing 82. In addition, their Big Three played for USA*Basketball last summer to pile on even more fatigue. Shaq/Kobe never made 4 in a row. Kobe/Gasol didn’t, either.

    • 2late2matter - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Spurs can’t afford (time-wise) any injury comeback projects as it tools up for a 2014 Championship. Any money he’d take from the Spurs kitty would / could be predicated on his performance and playing time. Who knows if his chemistry is right for the experienced Spurs anyway? David’s team became Tim’s team and the door isn’t closed yet on this Western Conference dynasty.

      Forget the big check, Greg. Can you even play again with those former injuries?

  8. dezglobal - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Best fit is Miami.. Off the bench for Bosh so he can work up to perhaps a starting role.. Limited minutes in the beginning then start at the 5 w Bosh at the 4. Plus being able to play for Pat Riley who brought 3 championships to Miami. (06, 12,13) ALSO living in S Beach. Thats hard to pass up.

  9. zelaya322 - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    The Heat are desperate. They know they need a big to win a third title so they’re digging deep lol.

    • miamatt - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Desperate? LMFAO! The Heat are the one team that most certainly is not desperate. Don’t forget, it’s teams like the Pacers and Bulls that need to prove they can beat- not merely challenge- the Heat in a seven game series, not the other way around.

      Also keep in mind that we are talking about Miami potentially signing a guy to a minimum contract to take JUWAN FREAKIN’ HOWARD’s roster spot. Worst case scenario for the Heat should they sign Oden is that he doesn’t play- much like Juwan Howard. Don’t get it twisted.

  10. metalhead65 - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    he should stay home and sign with the pacers. no pressure of starting or being franchise saver. come off the bench and see if the knees can hold up and be a contributor that way while also being on a winning team. you have a chance at a title without the pressure of being the savior. sign for the min. to prove you are not doing it just for the money and if you make it thru the season you can have another fat contract to look forward to before the next season.

  11. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    My only question is, Why aren’t these teams recruiting me? I guarantee I’ll play as many games next season as Greg Oden.

  12. harshedmellow - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Ooooh, the article said he did a “sit-down”. Big red flag. In Portland, his first microfracture surgery came after getting up from the couch. Just sayin’.

    He’d be a great fit with the Heat. If he’s got anything left, he should go there.

  13. 00maltliquor - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Pelicans would be the fun, exciting, intriguing team to sign with. Heat would be the smart thing to do. Spurs same thing as Heat but they just spent a mini fortune on Tiagooo Sssplitterrrr, there’s more of a shot at taking minutes from the Bird then the $50 million dollar man. He’s got good options, that’s for sure.

  14. trippymane - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    I feel so bad for him. Look at his averages and minutes played no doubt he would have been an 18 and 10 type of center AT LEAST

  15. silverandblackfan77 - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    I guess it doesn’t matter your health when you’re a big a#$ dude the potential was always there unfortunately his knees weren’t

  16. savagedolfan - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    It’s funny how people are saying the Heat are desperate. Really? Where have you been the last 3 years? Their not desperate for one, but when an opportunity presents itself for size under the basket why wouldn’t you take it? Imagine the swing in wins/points if you give Wade/James more shot attempts. Adding him to the roster doesn’t make the Heat automatic champions but it definitely makes them better if he can contribute Joel Anthony minutes, especially with a veteran minimum salary.

  17. 808raiderinparadise - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    HEAT is honestly the best place that provides him great veterans around him, won’t be counted on to be star but can have a very distinct role with limited minutes and a playoff role against Noah & Hibbert in the EAST.

    HIbbert destroyed the HEAT, Birdman/Bosh/LeBron couldn’t faze him.

    Besides I remember the sports illustrated cover with Hibbert:

    “I wanna win championships, like 15 of em”

    Well the HEAT are similar “Not 6, not 7, not 8 ….”

    • 808raiderinparadise - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      cover with *Oden

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