LAS VEGAS – The New Orleans Pelicans expect to meet with Greg Oden this week as the free-agent center considers his options for a return to the NBA, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Oden has had meetings with the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings, a source said. The Pelicans were hoping to meet with Oden here Wednesday, but he is returning to his hometown of Indianapolis on Tuesday and is expected to push the meeting with New Orleans officials to later this week, a league source said.
The New Orleans meeting is expected to include Mickey Loomis, the Pelicans' head of basketball operations and the NFL Saints' executive vice president and general manager, as well as Pelicans GM Dell Demps and coach Monty Williams. The Pelicans are expected to offer a contract paying close to $3 million in the first season. At least three other teams are expected to offer similar money, a league source said.
Oden hasn't played in the NBA since Dec. 5, 2009, because of knee injuries. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, but has appeared in just 82 NBA games. He has had two microfracture surgeries on his left knee – the most recent being February 2012 – and one on his right knee. He has also had surgery to repair a broken left kneecap he suffered in his last NBA game.
A source from one of Oden's suitors said he did not work out during his recent visit with the team. Sources close to Oden have previously said he hopes to be ready to play by training camp.
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