Greg Oden will return to the NBA with Miami Heat


Greg Oden will make his NBA comeback in Miami.

Oden told 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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