Former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden has been linked to several teams in the past few months since making it known he's interested in a comeback, but one of the most prominent has been the Cavaliers. Oden was close to signing with Cleveland last month, and though a deal never happened, Oden tells Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal he's still interested in joining the Cavs.
Wherever he signs, it likely won't happen until this summer, as agent Mike Conley Sr. reiterated to Lloyd, in keeping with what Conley has previously indicated. Lloyd reported in February that the Cavs were preparing a three-year deal for Oden that included a team option for 2014/15. It's unclear how much the contract would have been worth, but the Cavs have plenty of cap space now and for this summer, so they could outbid many other teams. Their advantage is somewhat reduced, however, if Oden waits to sign until the offseason, when other clubs will free up more space and have cap exceptions to use on the big man.
Oden, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, and attended Ohio State, is at tonight's Cavaliers-Grizzlies game as a guest of Memphis point guard Mike Conley Jr., the agent's son. The Cavs invited Oden to move down into one of owner Dan Gilbert's front-row seats adjacent to the team's bench, Lloyd notes, and Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio noticed Oden talking with Cavs reserve Luke Walton (Twitter link).
Oden, as his agent has in the past, said the Cavs' partnership with the Cleveland Clinic will be a factor in his decision.
"With my process, one of the top two things I have to think about is the medical staff and how is it going to help me," he said. "I want to play and I want to play for some time. Not just come in and see what happens. I want to be able to have a career."