Don’t expect to see Greg Oden anytime soon. The Heat signed him with a longer term picture in mind and it wasn’t out of desperation that they looked to rehab the former #1 draft pick. The strategy is to give the Heat more depth heading into the playoffs, where many predict they will lock horns with the Indiana Pacers again.
A recent article by Ethan Skolnick has Oden doing some pre-game work with Juwan Howard as the Heat made a recent road trip out west to Sacramento. Skolnick even uploaded a few videos (what’s with the portrait video, Ethan?! Use landscape mode!) which clearly show Oden’s conditioning is far from NBA ready. (Oden was heaving after about 30 seconds of shot-blocking drills.) The Heat reportedly are working on getting more strength in his lower half. If the desire is there, Oden will be an asset for the Heat – all indications are that he is tirelessly working toward making his Heat regular season debut.
As for a “backup” plan, there are rumors that the Heat might be interested in troubled Andrew Bynum. Roy Hibbert even commented on the rumors via Twitter:
Hearing Bynum wants Clippers or Heat. Good for them!
— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) January 1, 2014
Not sure what the future holds for Bynum, but the Cavs will do whatever is most advantageous for them. Not sure a trade with the Heat would fit that need at this, or any, time. If the Cavs can’t find any takers, it is expected they’ll waive him before the January 7th deadline otherwise they will have to guarantee the rest of his salary for the remainder of the season, which is $12.25M.