Miami's small ball unit got things done this year. However, team president Pat Riley would prefer the Heat to get physical with the East's contenders by acquiring some size in the paint. Joakim Noah, Roy Hibbert and Tim Duncan exposed their weaknesses for the world to see and two out of three of those squads are young teams on the rise.
Unfortunately, there aren't many viable options for the Heat to offer with their $3.183 million mid-level exception so the Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap's of the world are a pipe dream. Miami will have to get creative to shore up their frontcourt. The champagne has barely washed out of Riley's hair grease and already he's got his sights set on ex-Portland Trailblazers center Greg Oden.
Via Fox Sports Florida:
Oden’s agent, Mike Conley, told FOX Sports Florida by phone Friday that the free-agent center remains very interested in signing with the Heat this summer and the feeling is mutual. Conley expects to talk with Heat president Pat Riley when free agency begins July 1 about the 7-foot Oden, the 2007 No. 1 draft pick who hasn’t played in the NBA since December 2009 due to knee problems.
“The Heat need some size, that’s not a secret,” Conley said. “Whether it’s in a backup role or whatever, he could help them. I know they’re interested in him and he’s interested in them.”
Oden hasn't played since December 2009 and has only played sparingly in 82 career games, but if he can remain healthy the Heat may find themselves another diamond in the rough to pair with Chris Andersen. Most likely than him becoming a force inside, he'll fill Eddy Curry's warm seat at the end of their bench and make it his home. Oden's demise has been unfortunate. He just isn't structurally built to handle the physical demands of an NBA season and the possibility of Oden winning a ring before Kevin Durant would be added motivation for the Thunder next season.