If he is smart. Here is the bullet point reason why Sacramento and why not the others.
- They would be too reliant and not good enough both short term or long term. They are still built around an aging star in Dirk with little youth to speak of. I don't think adding Ellis is terrible exciting for anyone. They could offer the most money, but for a guy wanting to ease back in after having major injury issues the Mavs is not a good situation.
- They have a good front office guy that is rebuilding (or retooling) depending on how you look at it. I do like the front court depth of having Milsap and Horford in the starting roles. However the Hawks do not have the strongest bench at the moment and although they have the benefit of playing the weaker Eastern conference you also would have to play in the empty stadium as the Hawks have very little fan support no matter how good they get. They may have some solid pieces it is hard to look at the Hawks as an "up and coming" team at the moment.
- You would get to play with Lebron and for a team that won the NBA championship last season but face it, they would use Oden up until his leg snapped. They have very little in the front court and Bosh is fading as a low post player. Although they won the championship they did not do it as a team that looked like they were getting better, both Wade and Bosh looked like half the players they once were. It is clear that Oden would play for a good team for a year (everyone's contracts can void next year, so what happens after that?). I don't see the heat as any long term situation and a team that would not be able to "ease" Oden back in.
- A ton of young talent but little in the way of vet type talent to even out the team. This team is loaded with young talent that has a history of injury too (maybe a bad omen for a player trying to return from serious injury). So while looking at New Orleans, if everything works out perfectly then yes that will be an awesome team. However if history is an indicator almost all those young stars will spend time on the mend and those injuries could force Oden to play a bigger role than he really wants right off the bat.
- Perhaps the biggest threat to Sacs bid in my opinion. A class organization that only wins. He could back up one of the best bigs in the history of the game in Duncan. They do have some great young talent to go the aging stars as the team has balance. It is the best run team in the NBA (in my opinion). However....Other than Splitter they do not have a lot of youth or depth no the frontline. If there is an injury on that frontline Oden would be front and center pretty quick. With Duncan aging it is a real threat that Oden would have to take a big role sooner rather than later.
- A young team stacked at the front court positions with youth, but no one that has Oden's particular skill sets. So although they have a lot of front court players (none with injuries histories either) none of them will be a direct threat to Oden seeing playing time. Sacramento has the best combo of talent that would let Oden focus on what he does best, rebound and block shots when he is since they have capable scorers off the bench. Also Sacramento has a new set of owners and front office people who by all accounts have a terrific presentation of what they want to do at least. He would be getting in on the first year of what should be a pretty exciting run with a young set of core players now mixed with some good locker room guys. A new arena on the horizon and if he turns his career around in Sac you know the ownership group would commit to him. It is the best fir for Oden looking at the demands that would be placed on him, the team, and what the future could hold for him.
What are your thoughts?