When the Miami Heat recently signed former first-overall pick Greg Oden, they envisioned a big man that can go up against the likes of Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah and Tim Duncan. While this is the team’s end-goal, Miami realizes that, for the time being, it must focus its efforts on Oden’s rehab to make sure that he’s healthy enough to be a factor this season, according to Pro Basketball Talk.
Heat president Pat Riley discussed the thought process when it came to acquiring Oden, adding that the team believes he can be a key player despite his injury history.
“After many months of discussion, evaluations and speaking with Greg, we felt it was a perfect time for him to make his comeback and re-enter the NBA with the Miami HEAT,” Riley said in a released statement. “It’s a great challenge for him. We know all about his past injuries, but we feel that there is a huge upside and the possibility of him helping us, that’s why we took the risk. We will continue his program and then we will tackle basketball issues after that.”
Prior to signing with the Heat, Oden garnered interest from several teams, contenders and rebuilding clubs alike. He reportedly showed well during his workout, but PBT points out that this is the same player that’s endured three microfracture surgeries and hasn’t stepped foot on a court since the 2009 season.