Within the last few months, multiple reports have suggested Greg Oden is considering returning to the NBA for the 2012/13 season, and would like the opportunity to play for the Heat. However, talking recently to David Hughes of the Tribune-Star, Oden downplayed his chances of making his NBA return this season.
"I would love to play [in 2012/13], but I’m not going to rush anything," Oden said. "I need to take a year off. What I told [agent] Mike [Conley] was 'Look, I want to get back with a team. I want to play. If there’s a chance that later on in the [NBA] year, if I feel good or if I’m healthy enough to play, I would love to play this year.' That’s the conversation we had. I think some people kinda blew that up and took his words and kinda changed them around. I know I need to get healthy first before I do anything."
According to Oden, teams haven't exactly been burning up his phone line expressing interest in signing him, considering he's still recovering. The former first overall pick added that he doesn't have one specific team in mind as a destination: "I want to go to a place where I can get healthy and with somebody who can believe in me and my skills — somewhere it could be a good fit for the both of us."
One general manager that spoke to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Sulia link) considers teams like the Spurs, Pacers, and Magic as the eventual favorites to sign Oden, but cautions that that's just his specuation. Amico also hears from a GM (it's unclear whether it's the same one) that teams with cap space, like the Suns or Cavs, could take a flier on Oden toward the end of the season, though the GM thinks it would have to be a minimum-salary contract.