Former Heat center Brian Grant remembers seeing the potential.
In the summer of 2009, he worked out for two weeks with Greg Oden. This was before a string of bad luck slowed a once promising career. Now, the question is can Oden regain that form after a series of career-threatening injuries.
If so, then Grant sees no reason why Oden can't once again become an impact player in the NBA. The Miami Heat are among a handful of teams in talks with Oden, who has played only 82 games since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007.
"Based on the workouts that I had with him then, he can contribute in this league," Grant said. "I think people looked at him when he came in, he was so big and menacing and you forgot that he was only a 19-, 20-year-old kid. Dealing with those injuries, I'm hoping that he does sign with the Heat. If he does, it will give him an opportunity to become what everybody was looking forward to."