Because of their limited spending power and the multiple areas of their roster that need shored up, the Miami Heat might have to get a little creative in free agency.
That could be part of their plan to address the center position. The Heat are considering making a run at restricted free agent Greg Oden, league sources said.
Oden, who has not 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.
Greg Oden expects to accept the qualifying offer from the Blazers for season and then become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2012.
Oden has not played since the beginning of the 2009-10 season.
The Trail Blazers have offered former No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden an $8.8 million qualifying offer to stay in Portland.
The offer means the often-injured 7-foot center becomes a restricted free agent. The Blazers can match any other offer made for him. Because of his injuries, the former Ohio State star has played in only 82 games over parts of two seasons, averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds.
If no other teams make offers for Oden and he stays with the Blazers, he will become an unrestricted free agent for the 2012-13 season.
Greg Oden is being cautious in his recovery from microfracture surgery on his left knee and may not return until January 2012, according to his agent Bill Duffy.
“You proceed with caution,” Duffy told Portland radio station KXL, via Blazersedge.com.
“We don’t want to come back too soon. We’re not going to even challenge it until we get to that 12 month threshold. If it were December or November or January we just can’t afford any more slip ups. We’ll wait until we get full clearance and then probably err on the side of caution, maybe a month or so after that.”
In a 26-minute meeting with reporters Monday, Blazers GM Rich Cho was asked repeatedly about Greg Oden’s future.
The 7-foot center will become a restricted free agent on July 1, and the Blazers have from the end of the NBA Finals to June 30 to tender a qualifying offer to Oden. Cho said if Oden continues to work hard in his rehabilitation, he was “pretty sure” the team would tender the offer.
“All the indications from a medical standpoint are that it’s come along well,” Cho said of Oden’s left knee. “I see him in here every day, working hard. He’s getting a sweat up every day. He wants to come back, and come back and play well.” Cho said Oden could become a key piece alongside LaMarcus Aldridge, who emerged this season as the Blazers’ leading scorer.
In a video interview posted on Blazers.com that was conducted on Monday, Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, who has been rehabilitating since undergoing microfracture knee surgery in November, was asked whether he has been able to resume work on the basketball court.
“I’m nowhere near there,” Oden admitted.
“I mean I just started doing two-leg squats like two weeks ago. I’ve got like a month and a half of just doing that. Putting weight on one leg, that’s all I can really do right now.”
Oden’s statement is the most recent and complete update on his progress since a Blazers scout said in January that Oden was still walking with a cane.
The Warriors will consider making a move for Greg Oden or Yao Ming, if they are unable to acquire a center via the trade or at the trade deadline.
“When you’re looking at what you can do to get better, you have to consider the possibility of what an injured player today might be able to do when he returns,” general manager Larry Riley said in an interview.
Oden and Yao are each former number one overall picks who have shown great ability on the floor and an inability to remain on it.
“It’s not a secret. We have either got to get the players we have to play better in and around the basket, or we have to get somebody else,” Riley said. “That’s really where we are, so I might as well say it.”
Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden will undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee Friday and will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season, the Trail Blazers announced this evening.
Dr. Richard Steadman will perform the surgery with assistance from Trail Blazers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Don Roberts at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo.
Oden, 22, has been sidelined since fracturing his left patella in a Dec. 5, 2009, game vs. Houston. A recent MRI showed damaged cartilage to the surface of his femur, and his current injury is unrelated to the fractured left patella.
Oden previously underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee Sept. 13, 2007.
Portland’s rookie guard Elliot Williams has dislocated his right patella and is likely out for the remainder of the season.
Williams is the third Blazers player in the last year to suffer a patella injury, joining centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla.
The team said Williams suffered the injury on Wednesday during on-court conditioning drills.
The Trail Blazers have yet to set a target date for the return of former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden.
Oden suffered a broken left patella on Dec. 5, 2009.
He was averaging 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks last season before the injury.