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Greg Oden and Miami Heat: Former No. 1 Pick Is Perfect Fit with Defending Champs

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 01: Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on November 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Trail Blazers 110-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Nate LevinsonCorrespondent IJuly 23, 2013

After not playing in the NBA since the 2009-10 season, former No. 1 pick Greg Oden looks ready to latch on with a new team.

ESPN.com is reporting that the Miami Heat are one of three teams who will see Oden work out this week, and that the defending champs are the favorite to sign the oft-injured big man.

At the end of June, Yardbarker.com reported that Oden had already had a two-day visit with the Heat.

The Heat have been linked to Oden for months and the potential connection seems like one that makes too much sense for it not to happen.

They are in dire need of a big man too, as Chris Andersen is the lone player on the team who is a natural fit at center.

The 25-year-old Oden would be a classic low-risk, high-reward addition for the Heat.

They are already the best team in the league, and have proven that even with very limited depth in the frontcourt.

At this point, it's hard to know what Oden can offer a team, but talent and production were never issues for him.

In his final season with the Portland Trail Blazers, Oden averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.

If he could average that number of rebounds and just half that number of points and blocks, he could be a key cog for the Heat.

It’s impossible to know if Oden will be able to finally stay healthy this time around, but on the off-chance that he does, the team that signs him could have, at the very least, a capable backup center.

If he gives the Heat the post presence they’ve sorely lacked, the team's road to the Finals could be even easier than in year's past.

Most of the times that the Heat have struggled, like in playoff series against the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs, they have done so because of an inability to defend the paint.

A chance to play for the defending champs should be too much for Oden to pass up, and what better way to resurrect a career than to compete for a championship right away?

If Oden can come in and be a force on the inside, there will be no stopping the Heat’s quest for a third straight title.

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