NBA Free Agency: Heat still favorites to sign Greg Oden, but other teams scheduling meetings

USA TODAY Sports

Free agent to meet with NBA teams in Las Vegas this week but the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are reportedly the favorites to land Greg Oden.

Even while Greg Oden and his agent Mike Conley Sr. continue to be vague about when the oft-injured center plans to return to normal basketball activities, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs continue to be rumored as the frontrunners to sign him.

According to Marc Stein from ESPN.com, the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings are lining up to meet up with the 25-year old center in Las Vegas this week, though Oden hasn't scheduled any workouts with any of them as of yet.

Heat president Pat Riley had confirmed two weeks ago that the team was interested in Oden and had met with him previously. Though the team's payroll is currently over $86 million, they can offer the mini-midlevel exception at $3.183 million. The Spurs can only offer the veteran's minimum.

"Obviously, they've got a need there," Conley told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida. "It's a situation where they probably can't go out and get a top player (with the money they have), but they can take chance on somebody like Greg and his upside. The exposure (of playing for the Heat) would be good for Greg. He could work his way back into his game. I think Miami is a good situation."

With Chris Andersen signing for the minimum, Conley is well aware the exception is still available for his client.

"I think it obviously makes it easier because they know how much money they have available," Conley said. "We haven't been down that road yet but I anticipate we will be shortly."

Conley also said that talks with the Heat would resume soon. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavs are no longer interested in Oden due to their signing of Andrew Bynum but the Dallas Mavericks are pushing hard after swinging and missing on several key free agents.

Oden has only played 82 NBA games since being the top overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. He hasn't played in a game since December 5, 2009.

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