WEDNESDAY, 10:53am: Sources tell Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio that Oden appears to be leaning toward the Cavaliers.
MONDAY, 1:58pm: The field of suitors for Greg Oden may have decreased by one, as Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports (via Twitter) that the Heat have removed themselves from the running. Miami had been considered one of the frontrunners for Oden, according to a report last month.
On Friday, we heard that the Cavaliers were preparing to make Oden a contract offer after the trade deadline. Amico confirms that report, adding that the Bobcats are also expected to make an offer. While the Cavs have about $4MM in cap space that they could use for their offer, the Bobcats have a pro-rated portion of the $2.5MM mini mid-level exception available.
Although Oden isn't expected to appear on the court until the 2013/14 season, his agent has suggested he may sign a contract this season in order to rehab with an NBA club. If the former first overall pick were to wait until the summer to sign, perhaps the Heat could re-emerge as an option, since they'd have their $3MM taxpayer mid-level exception available at that point. That's just my speculation though — it's not clear if an inability to offer more than the minimum this year is the reason why the Heat are out of the running for Oden.