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Report: Cavaliers, Heat become front runners to land Oden

Jan 29, 2013, 1:07 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

Somebody is going to sign Greg Oden in hopes he can return next season and play a few minutes a night off the bench. Yes, he has had seven knee surgeries — three microfracture — at age 24 and hasn’t played in the NBA in three years.

But such is the state of real bigs in the NBA that if he can give a team 12-15 minutes a night off the bench on an affordable deal, teams will take a look.

I don’t know when, but there seems to be some momentum for it to happen sooner — say in the next month or so — than in the future.

As for who might land him, has an update.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat have emerged as the leaders to land former No. 1 pick Greg Oden.

The 7-foot Oden, who hasn’t played since Dec. 5, 2009 due to multiple knee injuries, is hoping to take a visit down to Miami to meet with Pat Riley and the Heat in the next week, a source told

If it comes down to money, Cleveland is under the salary cap and can offer more, Miami could only offer the league minimum. With either team this likely is a series of one-year deals at the team’s option. Other teams such as Boston, San Antonio and Dallas were reportedly interested but Oden is narrowing his options.

Just something to watch, this seems to be happening.

  1. rj2323 - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Lets go oden prove them all that u can still dominate the paint an be a force on the defensive end like you were before

  2. tomtravis76 - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    If he is choosing between the two teams, Miami is his best option. Greg will be able to contribute without having any spotlight on him. Oden will have an opportunity to play for a championship each season with the Heat. Playing in Cleveland he will have the pressure of being an Ohio guy, and that didn’t work out for the last guy with a hometown angle in Cleveland to leave.

    • LPad - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      Have my doubts about that. Miami plays small ball all the time so Oden won’t see much playing time. You don’t go through all the rehab and risk another surgery to play five minutes a game. And I don’t think the expectations will be high no matter where he goes even in Cleveland. Most people will be shocked if he makes it through 40 games without needing a surgery.

      • miamatt - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        One of the primary reasons Miami plays small ball all the time is that they don’t have a traditional center worth playing. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t love the option of playing a real big at times, even if soley for defensive purposes.

        And I would say that you don’t go through all the rehab and risk another surgery to play on a team more likely to get the No. 1 pick than make the playoffs.

      • borderline1988 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Miami plays small ball because they have no reliable big men. And having Oden on your team isn’t going to change your style considering he’s not exactly going to be playing big minutes on a nightly basis. Unless he miraculously will be playing big minutes, for which a style change would be worthwhile considering what a healthy Oden can bring to the table.

        Regardless, this will be a one-year deal. There’s simply no way any team is going to guarantee any kind of money to this guy. It would be like spending millions on a penny stock. Even rich NBA owners don’t just throw money into the toilet.

        Most likely, he will look decent in camp next year (just like Brandon Roy this past year) but after 5 or 10 games, he will get injured again. And then his career will really be over.

    • ljl2 - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      Oden is not from Ohio. He is from Buffalo and lived in Indiana until his 1 year at Ohio State. Very different than the “last guy.”

      Oh, and are you saying the “last guy” couldn’t handle the pressure?

      • dacapt704 - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:57 PM

        yup..he is from Buffalo…grew up right down the street from me.

  3. dacapt704 - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    They make it sound like they are competing for a prized free agent…not dissing Greg bc I’ve known his family since he was a shorty but…real is real. His knees are done, he says the doctors in Portland rushed him back too soon over and over…

    I still would like to see him succeed in the A bc he is a really good dude

    • LPad - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      the Portland doctors and training staff are like the exact opposite of the Phoenix staff. One extends careers the other shortens them.

  4. acdc363 - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    LOL I can see it now:

    “I decided I’m gonna take my potential talent to South Beach!”

  5. BigBeachBall - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    He’s played about 3 hours of NBA basketball total…. i wonder how many hours he’s clocked rehabbing that knee….that’s brutal…

  6. cantonbound13 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Does it matter? The game has changed, no need for 7 footers unless they are super athletic like Howard. Power forwards are now centers in the league.

    • ljl2 - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      PFs are centers because too many guys aren’t spending time in college learning how to be a center and just relying on athleticism instead of true knowledge of the position.

  7. waqoyi - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Give the man a chance… Grant Hill didn’t played for the Orlando Magic

  8. cosanostra71 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    The Cavs are competing with the Heat for the hometown former #1 pick. Stop me if I’ve seen this one before. I do think the Cavs are a good choice however. Low pressure and less media attention. In Miami any setback he has would be the lead story on Sportscenter

    • ljl2 - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      hometown? how? Did Buffalo move to Ohio? Or the state of Indiana?

      • loungefly74 - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        correct…i think the point was the OSU connection though…

      • cosanostra71 - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        Turns out we’re both wrong. He grew up in Indiana.

  9. knickstape84 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    He still has alot of potential. He is picking Cleveland because Lebron will be there soon… and play with Irving. And quit calling him a hometown guy he grew up in Indiana.

  10. andiroid71 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    I can understand why he would want to. But I wouldn’t waste the money or the spot on the roster. Look at the Timberwolves and Roy, they took a chance and it looks more and more like they’ve been taken for a ride.

    Knees are kind of important in basketball.

  11. abchome - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Oden and Phoenix should give each other a shot.

  12. southpaw77 - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Why not Phoenix? Their training staff worked miracles for Grant Hill, Amare’s knee, Nash’s back, Shaq, etc.

    Or do the opposite of LeBron and actually go back to Ohio, no expectations and can slide under the radar. In Miami he’d be forced to answer questions when he’s coming back, come back too soon and help on their weak rebounding woes.

  13. soopreme - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Cmom down to Miami Greg and sign with the Heat so we can get you in the system and moniter your rehab.

  14. mgscott - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Obviously Lebron wants to play with Oden. Obviously Lebron wants him to play for 1 of the 2 teams he will play for in 2014. Hmmmmm

  15. reasonablemindsays - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    This dude must have the hardest knees after all those surgeries. Wouldn’t want to take a knee in the groin from this guy.

  16. mcsuave - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Buyer beware. Has not played since 2009 and never significant minutes. I don’t think he can make it 25% of seasy.

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