Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Oden interested in returning to NBA, Miami Heat frontrunner to sign him

Remember the guy who was drafted before Kevin Durant? Well, it looks like Greg Oden wants to play in the NBA again.

Oden last played in the 2009-10 season for the Portland Trail Blazers. He missed his entire rookie season then played in just two seasons for the team, playing 82 total games and averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Oden is considered as of right now one of the biggest busts in NBA history. That is fair because he has hardly played and it’s hard not to notice his lack of a career when it is Durant who was picked right after him.

Oden had a very hard time dealing with the disappointment he created for the Portland fan base. Those close to Oden know he is a very sensitive person and know just how much it bothered him to not live up to expectations in the league.

That was the biggest reason why Oden walked away from the game in 2010. He couldn’t handle that.

Oden is trying to get into shape to make an NBA return while he takes classes at Ohio State. He’s hopeful that a team will be interested in giving him a shot.

The Miami Heat are reportedly one team that is interested and are a team that is at the top of Oden’s wish list according to two sources.

The Heat are reportedly interested in signing Oden to a multiyear deal which would allow Oden to be patient with his return. Oden’s camp doesn’t want him to come back this regular season.

The Heat are in need of help up front. They have become a team that is giving up far too many offensive rebounds and adding size to their frontline like Oden would certainly help with that.

The real question is: If Oden can’t play this season, would the Heat still be interested?

Taking a chance on Oden now is not much of a gamble. You wouldn’t be investing a whole lot in him.

There is still a chance though that teams wouldn’t want to give Oden a multiyear deal if he doesn’t plan on returning this season. If no one does, then many teams would be in the market to sign him during the summer next season. Maybe even the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder already proved they are willing to take chances on big men busts by signing Hasheem Thabeet before this season. Why not go for Oden too?

What Oden needs is somewhere with a great basketball culture. Somewhere he will be accepted and loved for what he can give a team. Oklahoma City is the perfect situation for that.

But as of right now, it looks as if there is a pretty good chance a team signs Oden this season. The Thunder probably won’t be one of those teams.

And if the Heat do get Oden and he does come back healthy, the rest of the league better watch out.

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Tags: Greg Oden Miami Heat Oklahoma City Thunder

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