Greg Oden will return to the NBA with Miami Heat

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Greg Oden will make his NBA comeback in Miami.

Oden told ESPN.com on Friday night that he will sign with the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.  He will report to the team on Monday and sign a two-year deal at the league minimum with a player option for Year 2.

“[The Heat] are in the spotlight, what can I say?” Oden said. “But for them to come after me with all the stuff I’ve been going through — for them to think I can still be an important piece of their team — I’m really excited about that. The scrutiny … that’s going to be there with any team I signed with. I just want to play.”

Drafted No. 1 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007, Oden has appeared in only 82 career NBA games because of his many knee problems.  The 25-year-old has earned nearly $24 million in salary since he was drafted.  He is set to make $1.03 million in 2013-14 and $1.14 million in 2014-15 if he picks up that option.

Oden chose the Heat over the Spurs, Mavericks, Pelicans, Kings and Hawks.

“When I had a conversation with Coach [Erik] Spoelstra and hearing how much he knew about the training stuff that I was already doing, it kind of made me feel like they know what’s best for me,” Oden said.

Oden added: “I’m not going to sit here and say I’m 100 percent. I am moving [well] and I am feeling good, but I have a lot of work to do.”

Oden hasn’t played an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009.  He underwent his third micro fracture knee surgery in February of 2012.

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