Report: Greg Oden planning a comeback, Heat could be interested - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Report: Greg Oden planning a comeback, Heat could be interested

Report: Greg Oden planning a comeback, Heat could be interested Report: Greg Oden planning a comeback, Heat could be interested

Greg Oden isn't done quite yet.

The former No. 1 overall pick hasn't played a game in the NBA since Dec. 5, 2009, and had his third microfracture surgery March 2012, this on his left knee. For his entire career, he's appeared in only 82 total games.

But he's not done yet. According to ESPN.com, Oden is planning on an NBA return for the 2013-14 season and there are already teams interested.

Nearly a year removed from his latest knee surgery, former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden has decided to resume his playing career, but is not planning to return to the NBA before the 2013-14 season, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that multiple teams already have expressed interest in signing Oden before the end of this season to a multiyear deal that would allow him to continue his rehab until he can get back on the court in training camp in the fall.

The Miami Heat are at the front of the line in pursuing Oden, two sources said, and have been keeping tabs as he recovers while also taking classes at Ohio State.

The Heat have reportedly shown interest in Oden before, with Oden's agent saying the interest was mutual. Oden wouldn't be the first time Pat Riley took a shot in the dark. Last season the Heat gave Eddy Curry another shot, although his contribution on the floor was limited.

Signing Oden for the Heat would be an incredibly low risk, potentially high reward scenario. I think it's fair to say that Oden will never reach his No. 1 overall pick potential, but he still could be a quality defensive-minded big man to stick in the middle alongside Chris Bosh.

One problem for the Heat though: They already have more than $80 million on the books next season, which will likely come closer to $90 million once the roster is filled out. And of course, the luxury tax kicks in to its more punitive state next season so even a minimum contract for Oden could be costly.

Another team to keep an eye on could be the Oklahoma City Thunder who aren't shy about taking on reclamation projects to develop. The Thunder are all about the low risk, high reward moves. Could be mildly awkward though playing alongside Kevin Durant for Oden.

Oden never officially retired, but more just took time away to finish his degree at Ohio State and attempt to get healthy. He's just 24 years old and still has a unique skillset for a man his size.

If Oden is intent on making a comeback, there will be teams interested. The question is if he'll ever actually step on the floor again.

Oden averaged 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in parts of two seasons in Portland.

Originally posted by Royce Young on CBSSports.com

Powered by Frankly