Heat announce deal with Oden

The SportsXchange

The Miami Heat confirmed the return of center Greg Oden to the NBA, signing the oft-injured center to contract on Wednesday.

The team did not disclose the terms of the contract, but ESPN reported last week that the deal was a minimum of two yars with a player option in the second year.

"After many months of discussion, evaluations and speaking with Greg, we felt it was the perfect time for him to make his comeback and re-enter the NBA with the Miami Heat," Heat president Pat Riley said. "It's a great challenge for him. We know all about his past injuries, but we feel that there is a huge upside and the possibility of him helping us. We will continue his program and then we will tackle basketball issues after that."

Oden, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, has played in 82 games during his career but none since 2009 because of repeated knee injuries.

"I am very excited and happy to be here," Oden said. "I'm thankful to the Miami Heat organization for bringing me in and I'm ready to get to work."

The 7-foot Oden worked out for several teams during the past few weeks. His three finalists were believed to be the Heat, San Antonio and Dallas. New Orleans, Sacramento and Atlanta also pursued Oden.

Oden, 25, has not played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009. He underwent his third microfracture surgery in February 2012.

In 21 games during the 2009-10 season with the Blazers, Oden averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks before getting injured again.
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