As he continues rehabbing his knees in hopes of making an NBA comeback, Greg Oden remains interested in signing with the Heat, agent Mike Conley tells Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida. And according to Conley, that interest is mutual.
"The Heat need some size, that’s not a secret," Conley said. "Whether it’s in a backup role or whatever, he could help them. I know they’re interested in him and he’s interested in them."
Oden, who hasn't played in an NBA game since 2009 due to multiple knee surgeries, has been linked to the Heat in the past, along with teams like the Cavaliers, Bobcats, Spurs, and Celtics. There were rumblings about him signing with an NBA team this past season in hopes of rehabbing with the club and returning to the court in 2013/14, but Oden and his reps ultimately decided to wait until the offseason to seek out a deal. In the meantime, the former first overall pick has continued his rehab in Columbus, and Conley thinks it's progressing well.
"He’s doing great. I think he could be ready for the regular-season opener," Conley said. "I’m not sure he’d be ready to play significant minutes. But it would depend on whether the team that he went to wanted him to play right away or not."
Conley added that his client would be willing to work out for teams next month, though he "wouldn’t do contact."
If the Heat were to make an offer to Oden, it would likely have to be for part or all of their mini mid-level exception, which will be worth $3,182,700 this season. Miami may also need to use that MLE in order to re-sign Chris Andersen, who had been on a minimum-salary contract this past season. Asked about Oden's potential market value, Conley said he hasn't "gone down that road" yet.