Updated Aug. 3 at 11:52 am
Greg Oden won’t be making his NBA comeback in Sacramento. According to multiple reports, the free agent center has decided to join the the Miami Heat.
The Sacramento Kings were among several teams in the running for the 25-year-old big man’s services. The Kings were not informed of his destination after he turned them down, however general manager Pete D’Alessandro praised Oden’s class throughout his decision-making process.
“Greg reached out personally, which is a testament to who he is,” D’Alessandro told Cowbell Kingdom. ”We wish him the best and we really appreciate how strongly he considered us in this process.”
The Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans were also interested in the services of the former No. 1 overall pick. Oden reportedly will sign a two-year deal with the Heat that holds a player option for the second season on Monday.
“Obviously the chance to play with the best player in the world and compete for a championship was a big selling point,” Oden told Grantland’s Mark Titus. “But more than that, what I really liked was how they thought I could really add something to their team. They’ve won back-to-back championships without me, so for them to pursue me as hard as they did meant a lot, especially given all that I’ve gone through.”
Since being selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden has had a tumultuous career riddled with injuries. In six years, he’s appeared in just 82 games and hasn’t played in the league since the 2009-10 season. In his career, Oden has averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 22.1 minutes per contest.