Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 8/2/13

Center Greg Oden, a former Ohio State Buckeye and No. 1 NBA Draft pick, will sign with the Miami Heat, according to multiple ESPN reports on Friday night. The drawn-out recruiting process for the 25-year-old has been the talk of the NBA of late, as it extended into the usually dull free agency month of August. Drafted originally by the Portland Trailblazers in 2007, the Indianapolis native only has 82 career NBA games to his credit, with the last one taking place in Dec. 2009. He averaged 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per game in those contests. Before eventually signing fellow 25-year-old free agent center Andrew Bynum, the Cleveland Cavaliers had been one of the early rumored possible destinations for Oden. In the end, it appears he decided to sign up to play with the Heat on a two-year deal including a player option for the second season, spurring offers from multiple Western Conference teams, such as New Orleans and Dallas. In Miami, Oden will play for the best team contending for his services and also will have a clear path to possible playing time, if healthy. Despite the fact the franchise has made three straight Finals, Joel Anthony is the only natural center to receive over 1,200 regular season minutes in this span. Forward Chris Bosh has played extended positions at the position, especially in the playoffs. As opposed to drafting big man Nerlens Noel in the draft — as many expected and hoped — the Cavs decided to take Canadian forward Anthony Bennett at No. 1. They followed up that surprise selection with the free agent signings of forward Earl Clark, guard Jarrett Jack and Bynum. It was an untraditional route but one the front office hopes will lead to avoiding the lottery in 2014. [Related: The Diff: NBA conference imbalance and the East playoffs]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants owner: McAdoo was not pressured to give up play-calling

Report: Ezekiel Elliott’s team, NFL have discussed settlement

Rick Pitino says he passed lie detector test, had no knowledge of Adidas scandal

Gordon Hayward's agent indicates he's likely out for the season

Masahiro Tanaka joins Yankees legends with dominant Game 5 start

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Willson Contreras admires his work after crushing 491-foot home run

Jeremy Lin to have knee injury evaluated amid ‘tremendous concern’

Bulls' Mirotic out 4-6 weeks, Portis suspended eight games

Gordon Hayward to undergo surgery Wednesday night

Jim Harbaugh defends quarterbacks from blame for Michigan’s struggles

Gronk: Patriots told not to discuss Super Bowl LI this week

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker