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Report: Mutual interest between Heat, Greg Oden

Jun 22, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Greg Oden AP

This summer, the Miami Heat need to get bigger. The Indiana Pacers are not going to shrink in the offseason and the Bulls’ size is one of the issues Miami has trouble with (and they get Derrick Rose back).

The Heat would like to bring back Chris Anderson, plus they might go after free agent bigs such as Samuel Dalambert and Jermaine O’Neal, all guys they could get inexpensively.

The Heat also have interest in Greg Oden — and he likes them, too reports Chris Tomasson at Fox Sports Florida.

Oden’s agent, Mike Conley, told FOX Sports Florida by phone Friday that the free-agent center remains very interested in signing with the Heat this summer and the feeling is mutual. Conley expects to talk with Heat president Pat Riley when free agency begins July 1 about the 7-foot Oden, the 2007 No. 1 draft pick who hasn’t played in the NBA since December 2009 due to knee problems.

“The Heat need some size, that’s not a secret,” Conley said. “Whether it’s in a backup role or whatever, he could help them. I know they’re interested in him and he’s interested in them.”

Oden, the former No. 1 overall pick, has had seven knee surgeries including three microfracture surgeries all before age 25. He hasn’t stepped on an NBA court since December 2009. So, there’s a couple red flags there.

However, since the last surgery he has been following the rehab routine and working out to get in shape, all in hopes of an NBA comeback. He’s not going to live up to the promise he showed coming out of college, but maybe he could become a solid backup giving 10-15 minutes a night. Maybe.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still considered the favorites to land Oden (he has been working out and taking classes at The Ohio State University). But the Heat would certainly have a role for him. There is a natural fit. And as a 25 year old, there are certain perks to living in South Beach.

We’ll see if this comes together. Oden likely lands somewhere with a non-guaranteed deal, but teams will look around at other free agents before making a move.

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