MIAMI -- The Miami Heat's protracted courtship of Greg Oden included face time in front of the free-agent center Tuesday by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Heat Vice President of Player Personnel Chet Kammerer.
The Heat have expressed interest in Oden over the past two seasons, including several exchanges between Heat President Pat Riley and agent Mike Conley Sr.
Tuesday's workout in Indianapolis was limited, with Oden, 25, still working his way back from a series of injuries that have had him out of the league since a Dec. 5, 2009 game with the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to a source familiar with the situation, the 7-foot center's decision ultimately could come down to the team that steps up with the most significant offer. A decision is expected within a week.
While the Heat remain in possession of their $3.2 million taxpayer mid-level exception, the belief is their preference is to offer Oden the $1 million veteran's minimum. It remains unclear whether the Heat would be willing to offer more than one guaranteed season, with every player on the Heat's current roster a potential free agent next summer.
The Heat also have been in contact with the agent for Marcus Camby, with the veteran free-agent center viewed more as a fallback option, the 39-year-old possibly to be bypassed even if the Heat lose out on Oden. Camby's free-agent decision also is expected within the next week, with the Heat, Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets believed to be his prime suitors.
Oden also has attracted interest from the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs. He is not expected to be cleared for full-contact work until mid-August, six weeks before the start of training camp.
The Cleveland Cavaliers previously had been considered a front-runner for Oden before instead signing free-agent center Andrew Bynum, another player attempting a comeback from knee problems.
The No. 1 overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden has been out of the league since a series of knee injuries again sidetracked his career. He underwent his third microfracture surgery on Feb. 21, 2012.
The Heat have been linked to Oden for more than a year, at one point standing as a front-runner along with the Spurs.
Asked recently about Oden, Riley said, "There have been a number of players that started their career missing two or three years with injuries and then all of a sudden they never had another problem again."
Because of the Heat's position against the luxury tax, an offer of their $3.2 million exception would wind costing more than triple that figure when factoring in the luxury tax. Just last week, the Heat trimmed their projected 2013-14 luxury tax bill from $33 million to less than half that figure by utilizing a one-time amnesty-release provision on veteran swingman Mike Miller.
The Heat already have Chris Bosh, Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem in their power rotation, with centers Joel Anthony and Jarvis Varnado also on their roster and LeBron James often cast at power forward.
Since being drafted in 2007 out of Ohio State by the Trail Blazers, Oden has played in 82 career games, the equivalent of one full NBA season, with averages of 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots in 22.1 minutes per game. By contrast, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, drafted No. 2 after Oden in 2007, has appeared in 461 career regular-season games.
"He's young enough to maybe be able to get by this, and only time will tell," Riley said in his recent assessment of Oden. "But if he's healthy, obviously I think he would be able to help teams, yes."
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