Greg Oden plotting return to NBA, Heat reportedly among teams interested

Jonathan Daniel

The defending champions are reportedly one of several teams thinking of giving the No. 1 overall pick a multi-year contract.

A year after his last knee surgery, Greg Oden is rehabbing in Columbus, Ohio, and considering a return to the NBA in the 2013-2014 season.

The former No. 1 overall pick has never been able to stay healthy, but in a league where size is at a premium, he has no shortage of suitors willing to give him another chance.

According to a report from Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, one of those teams is the Miami Heat, who may offer him a multi-year deal before the end of this season.

Ever since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, Miami's Achilles heel has been the lack of a true, defensive-oriented center upfront. Switching to a starting line-up with Chris Bosh at the 5 in the NBA Finals helped them defeat the Thunder. But they weren't able to stick with that strategy this season, as their undersized front-line was getting hammered on the boards.

The Heat kept Eddy Curry around all of last season and currently have two open spots on their roster; their only real problem in adding Oden would come on the financial end, as they are already way above the luxury tax.

For Oden, signing with Miami would allow him to walk into a role on a championship-caliber team without the burden of the expectations he faced in Portland.

A lot would have to happen for the Heat to sign a center projected to be the next Patrick Ewing coming out of college, but it's certainly a story-line worth monitoring closely over the next few months.

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