Center Greg Oden, the #1 overall pick of the 2007 NBA draft, will host a private workout for three teams this week.
According to Jeff Goodman and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, those three teams will be the Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. The scribes report the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs are also in the mix for Oden. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who appeared very interest earlier in the process, are likely out of the mix after signing Andrew Bynum to a two-year, $24 million deal.
The writing duo, citing a “source close to the process,” report “the Heat and Spurs established themselves as the front-runners to land Oden last month and, according to one source close to the process, remain the co-favorites to sign him.”
The Heat seem like an obvious choice for Oden. Although they re-signed Chris Anderson, they clearly have a need for a rebounder and shot-blocker like Oden. However, attempting a return in the spotlight of Miami could provide added pressure, which is why the Pelicans “are building their pitch around the fact going to New Orleans would enable Oden to make his comeback far away from the media glare and with no immediate pressure as he tries again to bounce back from the knee issues that have plagued him since college.”
Oden has played in just 82 games over the course of his NBA career, averaging 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He hasn’t played since December 1, 2009.
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