Oden was a reclamation project for Miami, a long-term gamble the team hoped would pay off by the time the postseason rolled around and they were faced with formidable opponents like Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers.
The Heat inserted Oden in the second quarter in Washington, and he took little time to make his presence felt. He went up over Marcin Gortat to grab an offensive rebound, and had no trouble going back up and finishing with the powerful two-handed slam.
Andrew Bynum remains a consideration for Miami, especially if the Pacers are considering him as a legitimate option. But the Heat would rather that things worked out with Oden, and while it’s only January, it’s not overly-optimistic to praise how he looks in his first regular season action since 2009 when he was with the Blazers.
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
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