Greg Oden is a restricted free agent this season and, despite not playing in nearly two years due to knee injuries, the center is apparently a hot commodity on the open market. The Portland Trail Blazers will be eligible to match any offer he receives from another NBA team ... and it seems they may have to do just that if they want to keep the former first overall pick on Portland.
The Heat are considering making a run at restricted free agent Greg Oden, league sources said. Oden, who hasn't played in nearly two years after suffering two different knee injuries, has a key doctor's examination this week when he could be cleared to resume contact practices.
Oden has a one-year qualifying offer from the Portland Trail Blazers for $8.9 million on his plate at the moment. The most the Heat could offer is the bulk of the $5 million mid-level exception.
It may seem surprising that teams would be willing to offer nearly $10 million for the right to sign the injury-riddled Oden, but as Tom Ziller suggested in his posting of top NBA free agents, anything is possible when it comes to the center from Ohio State.
In the first version of this ranking, I did not include restricted free agent Greg Oden. This was either an oversight or a nod to the mysterious in which G.O.D.E. exists, a dimension separate from the mundane course of "free agency" and "qualifying offers." You cannot place an integer in front of that entity. To do so would violate nature.
But yes, technically speaking, Oden is a free agent.
It will certainly be interesting to see what happens with Oden in (restricted) free agency, but the smart money indicates he'll be with the Blazers for at least one more season. If not, though, the Heat could be getting a steal.