By Evan Sidery
Lead Writer

Greg Oden has been on the mend ever since his knee issues began to occur in Portland his rookie season. Having only played one full NBA season (82 games) and not playing in the league since the 2009-2010 season, Oden has finally signed on to play again. 

This time the big man is heading to Miami Heat. 

Oden was courted by the Heat, Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs before finally settling on Miami. All these teams needed depth at center, but the Heat won Oden away from other pursuers. 

The deal is worth $1 million with a $1.1 million player-option for next year. 

Teams understand that Oden will not be able to make a fast transition, after being nearly four years without playing on an NBA court. His role with Miami will likely start out as a reserve big man, until he proves his knees are healthy enough to log significant minutes every game. 

The question is, will Miami rest Oden every other game, or give him a few straight games off at a time to keep him healthy long-term? This is likely the case, and the safest idea.

When he was healthy, Oden showed the potential to take over games, in Portland. The now 25-year old big man averaged nine points, seven rebounds and a block during his two seasons with the Trail Blazers.

Now, with Oden heading to the Heat, could he be the missing link to another championship/playoff run? He very well could be with even more depth in the frontcourt. Adding Oden in alongside Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen makes that a dangerous trio of big men, if Oden stays healthy.

Adding Oden in makes Miami even more dangerous. Indiana and Miami look to be in a constant battle for the Eastern Conference's top spot all next season. If he stays healthy, Miami might have just gotten a big coup in Oden.


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