Oden’s agent, Mike Conley Sr., told FOX Sports Florida on Friday he plans soon to resume talks with Heat president Pat Riley after Riley has been taking care of other business. He said Oden, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since December 2009 due to knee injuries, remains very interested in signing with Miami this summer and he believes the Heat want Oden.
“Obviously, they’ve got a need there,” Conley said of a center. “It’s a situation where they probably can’t go out and get a top player (with the money they have), but they can take chance on somebody like Greg and his upside. The exposure (of playing for the Heat) would be good for Greg. He could work his way back into his game. I think Miami is a good situation.”
It was just reported yesterday that Oden would take his time with free agency, and that a decision could linger into August, with the Spurs, Cavaliers and Heat all front-runners for Oden’s services. But Conley Sr., Oden’s agent, confirmed that the Cavaliers signing of Andrew Bynum has ended them as a possibility.
In addition to the Heat, teams in the mix for Oden, 25, include San Antonio, Boston and Charlotte. Conley confirmed Cleveland, once thought to be high on Oden’s list, is out of the running after bringing in free-agent center Andrew Bynum.
San Antonio could be very well out of the running for Oden as well, since our guess is they’ve used up most of the Mid-Level Exception on the Pendergraph and Belinelli signings, so the most they could offer would be the veteran minimum. Miami, however, still has their Taxpayer or “Mini-Mid Level” Exception, worth more than double the veteran minimum.
The 25-year-old Oden has yet to work out for any teams this summer.