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Report: Cavaliers, Heat become front runners to land Oden


Somebody is going to sign Greg Oden in hopes he can return next season and play a few minutes a night off the bench. Yes, he has had seven knee surgeries — three microfracture — at age 24 and hasn’t played in the NBA in three years.

But such is the state of real bigs in the NBA that if he can give a team 12-15 minutes a night off the bench on an affordable deal, teams will take a look.

I don’t know when, but there seems to be some momentum for it to happen sooner — say in the next month or so — than in the future.

As for who might land him, CBSSports.com has an update.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat have emerged as the leaders to land former No. 1 pick Greg Oden.

The 7-foot Oden, who hasn’t played since Dec. 5, 2009 due to multiple knee injuries, is hoping to take a visit down to Miami to meet with Pat Riley and the Heat in the next week, a source told CBSSports.com.

If it comes down to money, Cleveland is under the salary cap and can offer more, Miami could only offer the league minimum. With either team this likely is a series of one-year deals at the team’s option. Other teams such as Boston, San Antonio and Dallas were reportedly interested but Oden is narrowing his options.

Just something to watch, this seems to be happening.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.