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Greg Oden to work out for Heat, Kings, Pelicans this week

Jul 22, 2013, 5:16 PM EDT

Greg Oden AP

But can he play?

You can guess why there is interest in former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden — in a league where defensive minded big men to protect the rim are at a premium he could be one of those guys, if even for 15 minutes a game. That has value.

But Oden has had three knee microfracture surgeries and seven overall, and he is just 25 years old. He hasn’t played in an NBA game since 2009. Which brings us back to “can he play?”

Three teams are going to get a look at him working out this week, reports ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com on Monday that the Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings will all send representatives this week to watch Oden work out in person.

Sources say that the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks — which had face-to-face meetings with Oden last week — also remain in contention for the 7-footer’s services. But the Heat and Spurs established themselves as the front-runners to land Oden last month and, according to one source close to the process, remain the co-favorites to sign him.

There are advantages everywhere, depending upon he wants to spin it. You can see his role in Miami (they need size) and he could win. Plus living in South Beach has its perks. San Antonio is also a veteran team and one known for using guys in ways they can succeed. Dallas has the Team USA trainer (Casey Smith) that Oden can trust. New Orleans is pitching that they are out of the spotlight that Miami carries around as two-time defending champs.

Oden is wisely taking his time, and the teams are wisely taking their time looking at his medical records and watching him workout. But at some point soon he is going to make his call.

Then we will see if he can play.

  1. mrwhiteshadez - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Oden should go to the Spurs. Pop would use him properly. Go play for a great team, with arguably the best coach in the game, and maybe learn a thing or two from Duncan in the process.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      Pop may have lost his “best coach in the game” card… too many consecutive years of getting out-coached in the playoffs. I don’t know who it is anymore.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:31 AM

        Yes you do. You just don’t want to say it. Ill say it for you.
        ERIK SPOELSTRA

      • bucrightoff - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:16 AM

        Getting out of LeBron’s way is not a great coach. Spolestra is a good ego manager, but name me one player the Heat have developped under his time. The correct response is none of course. LeBron, Bosh, Wade, he didn’t develop any of them, nor the rest of the no names on that bench. Mostly low level free agents who want a ring.

        Now Pop? How about Gary Neal, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter etc… have all been developped exceptionally under Pop. In terms of coaching the game, its incredibly insulting to suggest Popovich is anything other than the best coach in the game. Maybe Spolestra is a better game manager, not a better coach though.

  2. pmd5319 - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Pelicans trainer John Ishop is also a trainer for Team USA. There’s 2, Smith from DAL and Ishop from Nola.

    • pmd5319 - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      http://www.usab.com/mens/national/roster.html

  3. JHathwell - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Assuming his legs don’t fall off during his workout he should get offers far north of what Miami can offer, right? Can’t see him taking a massive discount.

    • zoomy123 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      Far north of what? The guy’s had 3 microfracture surgeries, he better be happy with the vet. min.

      • jayquintana - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:46 AM

        Teams would be crazy to give him more than the vet. min. There’s absolutely no assurance he’ll play another game. That said, it wouldn’t shock me if there were a mini bidding war for him.

      • JHathwell - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:37 PM

        Im sure he gets more than that just based on his potential.

      • JHathwell - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:44 PM

        Centers who can walk and chew gum at the same time get more than the minimum. It was already reported that NO offered 2/6 and I’m sure someone is willing to beat that.

  4. jayquintana - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    Assuming his contract will have a low base with a lot of incentives, he’s worth the risk.

  5. dezglobal - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Idk how you can pass up playing for Pat Riley and playing with LeBron James in South Beach for millions of dollars. He’s a 25 yr old too.. I wouldn’t even think about it.

  6. skinsfanwill - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    If Miami signs him, watch out league. Not one, not two, not three, not 4…….you know how it goes.

  7. runthepicketfence - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    You might as well light your cash on fire. This poor guy is going to be in a wheelchair before he hits 40.

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