Greg Oden let former college teammate Mark Titus of Grantland know about his decision to sign with the Heat ahead of the news breaking this evening, and heard from the one-time can't miss prospect about why Miami won him over.
"Obviously the chance to play with the best player in the world and compete for a championship was a big selling point," Oden said. "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."
Here's more on the Heat's second major victory of the summer:
- Other teams offered more money, but a conversation Oden had with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra last week at a Chili's in Indianapolis played a key role in the decision, agent Mike Conley Sr. says to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida.
- Sources tell Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio that the Heat were willing to make promises to Oden that other teams wouldn't. Some of Oden's other suitors wanted a team option in year two rather than the player option the Heat gave him, Amico says (Twitter links).
- Oden tells Marc Stein and Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com that the Heat's willingness to bring him along slowly this season was a “big deciding factor” for him. Oden's not sure he'll be ready for opening night, and just wants "to finish the season healthy."
- The Heat expect Oden to take part in training camp, but they aren't putting any pressure on him to play in the regular-season opener, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, who wonders if Oden's arrival signals that the team will look to trade Joel Anthony.
- Heat team president Pat Riley and company passed on signing Marcus Camby while they were waiting on Oden's decision, Winderman also reports.
- Oden isn't expected to play back-to-backs early in the season, a source tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- The Heat will pay an approximately $2.6MM tax bill on Oden's contract, pushing their total projected tax payment to $18.8MM, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. With no further roster moves, the team's payroll, tax included, will be $101,539,013, according to Windhorst's math.
- The Cavs showed early interest in Oden, but the Andrew Bynum signing took them out of the running, tweets Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer.