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Despite the team's shopping of Speights, it seems Cleveland is still looking to build some depth under the basket. In order to do so, the Cavs have turned their attention toward a rehabbing Greg Oden.
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 8, at 7:11 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway
More details continue to emerge about the Cavs' pursuit of the oft-injured big man. According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal
, Cleveland is prepared to offer Oden a two-year contract with a team option for the third season, but will not make a move until after the trade deadline:
The Cavs are expected to offer free agent center Greg Oden a two-year contract with a team option for a third year after the Feb. 21 trade deadline passes, a league source said. The Cavs have about $4 million in cap space, which they are preserving now for potential trades. Teams around the league don't want to sign Oden until after the trade deadline.
That's obviously a sensible approach to take. Oden is completely free of restraints for the first time in his young career, so waiting a couple weeks for a formal offer won't play any part in his decision. If he wants to go to Cleveland, he'll wait until after the deadline and make it happen.
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UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 8:40 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant
Fox Sports' Chris Tomasson reported on Twitter that he wouldn't be surprised if Cleveland has already had preliminary discussions with the injury-plagued center:
He continues those thoughts on Sulia, as an interview with Oden's agent Mike Conley, Sr. led him to believe that since the comeback attempt has already led for Oden to meet with the Boston Celtics, that the realm of possibility for other teams involved should include the Cavs—his home-state team.
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Oden—who has been out of the league since 2009 due to a slew of knee injuries and setbacks—is attempting a return to the court.
According to ESPN (via Chris Broussard), the two front-runners for Oden's services are the Cavaliers and Miami Heat.
Oden has very strong ties to the Midwest, and it makes sense that he could choose to return. The 25-year-old spent his time in college at Ohio State, and he is currently rehabbing in Indianapolis and Columbus.
With as much cap space as it has, a move like this would be low risk-high reward for Cleveland.
The team needs depth at center, and a returning Oden would provide that. Even with limited playing time, the big man could be a franchise piece moving forward—depending on the level at which he returns.
It might sound crazy, but this is definitely a move worth making for Cleveland.