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Greg Oden could make NBA comeback with Heat or Cavaliers

January 30, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Greg Oden, shown in 2007 after being selected No. 1 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers, has not played since 2009 due to knee injuries.
Greg Oden, shown in 2007 after being selected No. 1 overall by the Portland… (Jason DeCrow / Associated…)

Greg Oden may not be returning to the NBA in the near future, but when he does it could be with the defending champs.

Or one of the worst teams in the league.

The Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers are reported to have emerged as the top two teams in the race to sign Oden, according to a report on CBSSports.com.

According to the report, Oden hopes to visit with Pat Riley and the reigning champion Heat within the next week. Meanwhile the Associated Press confirmed the Cavaliers' (13-33) interest in signing the former No. 1 overall draft pick whose career has been derailed by knee injuries.

Other teams are said to have expressed interest in Oden as well, but CBSSports.com says Oden is "leaning toward" Miami or Cleveland.

While watching his former team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, play Tuesday night, Oden offered few details about where his attempted comeback might take place.

“Right now I'm not worrying about where,” he said. “I'm only worried about my knee.”

That's probably the right approach. After being drafted by Portland in 2007, Oden played just 82 games and none since 2009. He was released by the Trail Blazers last March, about a month after the most recent of his three microfracture knee surgeries.

Oden did, however, did have a tiny bit of information as to when his return to the league might occur.

“I don't know when, but I'm taking this year off," Oden said. "I'll play next year.”

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