Greg Oden's agent Mike Conley said earlier this week that the odds of his client signing a contract before season's end were decreasing, but it sounds as if at least one team is still interested in making that happen. According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (via Sulia), the Cavaliers are preparing a two-year offer for Oden that would include a third-year team option for 2014/15.
Lloyd reports that the Cavs are waiting until after the trade deadline to make a formal offer to Oden, which makes sense, as the team could still use its cap space for trades. Other potential suitors for the former first overall pick, such as the Heat, could only currently offer a minimum-salary contract, but Cleveland has about $4MM in cap room — if the team doesn't take on salary at the deadline, it could use a portion of that space to offer Oden more than the minimum.
The Cavs' willingness to offer a contract this season could also give them a leg up on rival suitors for Oden. The Heat, rumored to be the other frontrunner for the 25-year-old, officially signed Chris Andersen to a rest-of-season deal today, giving Miami 15 players on guaranteed contracts. The Cavs, like the Heat, have 15 players under contract, but appear open to trading or releasing a player to clear a roster spot. For Miami, waiving a guaranteed contract and aborbing the cap hit would make for a pricier transaction, since the club is well into the luxury tax.
Regardless of when he signs, Oden isn't expected to see the court until 2013/14. If he reaches an agreement with a club before season's end, it will simply allow him to continue his rehab with NBA doctors as he gets adjusted to the team's system. The Celtics, Bobcats, Spurs, Pacers, Hornets, and Mavericks have also been mentioned as potential destinations for the big man.