The former number one pick of the 2007 NBA Draft hasn’t played in a game since 2009. Heat President Pat Riley is aware of that staggering statistic, but he’s still optimistic Oden could play a huge role in South Beach.
“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.”
Miami isn’t asking Oden to prove why he was the number one pick, Miami just wants him to be a presence down-low on both ends of the floor. If healthy, Oden could provide that for the back-to-back NBA Champions.