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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, CBSSports.com 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 CBSSports.com.

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.

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