Oden hasn’t played since 2009 due to a rash of knee injuries and subsequent micro fracture surgeries, but he would like to comeback for the start of the 2013-14 season, according to ESPN.com. Their report also says Miami has kept their on Oden's progress.
Oden does not want to rush his rehab, and would prefer to get into shape and start next season fresh.
Miami has desperately searched for more size in its frontcourt, but big men come at a huge premium in the NBA and the Heat already holding a huge cap log with their Big Three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Signing Oden could be a huge risk for several reasons. His injury history is well documented, not to mention his reported spat with alcoholism and depression following his injuries and the psychological toll they took on Oden.
Then there are the new salary cap rules that go into effect next season. The Heat already have the fourth highest payroll in the league, and if their roster stays pat, Miami will have the second highest next year behind the Brooklyn Nets.
Out of Ohio State, Oden was heralded as the next great big man, with a rare combination of athleticism and size. The Portland Trailblazers selected him in 2007 over now superstar Kevin Durant.
For his career, Oden has averaged 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in 82 games.