Free-agent Greg Oden will decide Friday on which team he will play for next season, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Spears notes that the Hawks, Heat, Kings, Mavericks, Pelicans and Spurs are the teams interested in the former first overall pick.
Spears initially reported last Tuesday that a decision from the 25-year-old center was expected to come this week. However, that hasn’t come to fruition yet. Since then, Spears speculates that Oden is most intrigued by Miami and New Orleans.
The Hawks drew interest in Oden when they watched him work out last Thursday. They could waive some non-guaranteed salaries such as DeShawn Stevenson, Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack to clear a chunk of cap space, but with their recent frontcourt acquisitions of Paul Millsap, Elton Brand, Pero Antić and Gustavo Ayon, there doesn’t appear to be many minutes available for Oden. Atlanta’s second-round draft pick Mike Muscala, a 6’11″ center from Bucknell Univeristy, faced the same obstacle Oden would face so he signed a contract with Blusens Monbús Obradoiro to play in Spain next season.
The Pelicans and Kings have a room exception worth $2.65 million available to offer Oden, while the Mavericks and Spurs can only offer minimum-salary deals.
The Heat should be the clear favorite. Not only do they have the best chance at winning, along with an actual need at the center position, but they can also offer more money than the other teams as they have their mini mid-level exception worth about $3.18 million available.
Check back in later for updates.