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.