Back in August 2012, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio wrote about how an NBA GM said the San Antonio Spurs were frontrunners to land free agent center Greg Oden.
Fast forward to June 2013, just a day after the Miami Heat captured back-to-back titles, and now Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida is writing that the Spurs are in the mix of teams with the potential to sign Oden this summer when free agency begins.
Other teams in the mix for Oden include Cleveland, San Antonio, Charlotte and Boston. Along with the Heat, Oden, who played at Ohio State, has most been linked with the Cavaliers.
Tomasson’s article focuses on Oden’s agent Mike Conley telling Tomasson that Oden and the Heat have mutual interest, especially a day after winning the championship. Tomasson says Pat Riley is expected to meet with Conley sometime during free agency. Tomasson also added that the Cavaliers are also a strong possible destination for Oden as well.
As for where Oden’s at physically, here’s what Conley told Tomasson.
"He’s doing great. I think he could be ready for the regular-season opener," Conley said. "I’m not sure he’d be ready to play significant minutes. But it would depend on whether the team that he went to wanted him to play right away or not."
Conley said Oden is willing to work out with teams in July, including the Heat. But the agent said he "wouldn’t do contact" in a workout.
If you recall back on January 17, the Spurs were again brought up in rumors to be a team Oden was looking at signing with. 13 days later, another report was released stating Oden had narrowed his options to just the Cavaliers and Heat.
By reading Friday’s report by Tomasson, one could infer that the Heat and Cavaliers are the frontrunners to sign him today. However, as noted by Tomasson, Chris “Birdman” Andersen is a free agent as well this summer and would like to re-sign with the Heat. Also according to Tomasson, the Heat might look at free agent center Samuel Dalembert.
As for the Spurs, they could have a position open in their front court as DeJuan Blair is an unrestricted free agent and will most likely sign elsewhere. Tiago Splitter is a restricted free agent, and Boris Diaw is holding his own decision to choose if he would like to test the free agent market.
By Project Spurs’ count, this is now the fourth Oden-Spurs rumor to come out in less than a year. As the NBA draft and free agency draw closer, there will be many more rumors swirling around the league.
For now, we can call this the unofficial start to the Spurs’ free agent rumor season.
(Hat-Tip: SB Nation)