The Atlanta Hawks may not be done shopping for centers yet as they had representatives on scene when Greg Oden worked out in Indianapolis on Thursday.
The San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans also sent scouts to watch the former #1 pick practice, which suggests Oden is drawing the type of interest that will get him signed sooner rather than later.
In addition to the three teams at Thursday’s workout, Dallas, Sacramento and Miami have also expressed interest in the big man’s services. Sources close to Oden believe he will announce his decision sometime next week.
It isn’t too surprising that Oden is earning interest despite not playing in an NBA game since 12/1/09. He was set to become the NBA’s next big superstar coming out of college before injuries and brittle bones derailed that destiny. Teams clearly still believe him to be a worthwhile signing, and for as little as he is likely to go for they aren’t incorrect. And take this with a grain of salt, but apparently Oden has looked pretty spruce during these recent workouts.
“He did a ton of agility stuff, ran suicides and also did drills on the court,” a source told ESPN of the workouts. “It went well.”
Sources maintain that Miami and San Antonio, viewed as the quickest paths to the NBA finals, are the frontrunners to land Oden. However, seeing as Oden hasn’t made any official comments yet this is mainly speculative. For all we know Oden has designs to join a team that will give him as much playing time as possible.
If Oden were to choose Atlanta it would certainly be interesting. He’s a throwback center and theoretically would work very well alongside Horford. He would push rookie center Lucas Nogueira for minutes, which is probably a good thing for both parties. His days as a dominant inside force are probably over, but he can absolutely still be a quality contributor in the right setting.