Multiple reports on Thursday indicate that former Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden continues his rehabilitation efforts from multiple knee surgeries as he eyes a comeback to the NBA.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported...
Sources told ESPN.com that multiple teams have already expressed interest in signing Oden to a multi-year deal before the end of this season that would allow him to continue his rehab until he can get back on the court in training camp next fall. The Miami Heat are at the front of the line in pursuing Oden, two sources said, and have been keeping tabs as he recovers while also taking classes at Ohio State.
In attempting another comeback, Oden's camp is planning to take a very conservative approach. So the plan is for him to sit out the rest of this season and summer league to make sure he allows himself the best chance of finally getting healthy.
Ric Bucher of Comcast Bay Area reported...
I'm told by Mike Conley, his college teammate at Ohio State, that Greg is back in Columbus, taking classes and trying to get into playing shape and that he hopes to be available to hit the free-agent market and join a team before the end of this season. If he can't get his body right by then or there isn't sufficient interest, he intends to take another shot at it next fall. The takeaway: Oden hasn't given up on resuming his -- or, perhaps more accurately, having a -- NBA career.
Chris Tomasson of FoxSportsFlorida reported...
Not that it's a surprise but Mike Conley, agent for Greg Oden, said no chance Oden re-signs with Portland.
"I'm not being negative, but Portland as an organization is going a different direction and Greg is going a different direction,'' Conley told FOX Sports Florida.
Back in December, it was reported that Oden has lost significant weight as he rehabilitates from his latest round of knee surgeries. Also in December, Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said Oden still wants to play in the NBA. Oden said recently that he would become a gym teacher if he's not able to return to the NBA and he's been in Ohio State's gym at least once. He's also been spotted at various hangouts in Columbus, Ohio, during OSU's football season and his agent has said on multiple occasions that Oden would pursue a return to the court for the 2013-14 season.
Back in May, Grantland.com's writer Mark Titus wrote a lengthy piece on Oden that discussed his time in Portland. Titus, who has known Oden since high school, discussed that interview in multiple radio interviews and podcasts. Titus also wrote a book that discussed his friendship with Oden.
Oden underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee and arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in February 2012. In May 2012, he underwent Orthokine treatment on both of his knees. He hasn't played in an NBA game since December 2009.
Oden, 24, holds career averages of 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 82 appearances.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter