Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 1/10/13
The agent for center Greg Oden said Thursday he's "100 percent" certain his often-injured client will be back playing in the NBA next season. But he said rumors Oden could end up with Miami Heat this season in order to rehab are "extreme." With Miami playing at Portland on Thursday, there has been speculation the Heat, who can open up a roster spot, could soon sign the 2007 No. 1 draft pick. He then would be under the care of their doctors until returning to play next season. Mike Conley, the agent for Oden, said in a phone interview with FOX Sports Florida it is an option Oden could sign with an NBA team this season for rehab purposes. But he said he's heard nothing at all from the Heat since Oden was waived by Portland last March. "Greg Oden will be playing in the NBA next season, I'm 100 percent sure of that," Conley said of his client, who turns 25 on Jan. 22 and hasn't played in an NBA game since December 2009. "But I haven't had any talks with the Heat. I have talked to several teams (that Conley wouldn't name). I would call (rumors Oden could end up in Miami this season) extreme." Conley had told FOX Sports Florida last July that Oden would not be retiring and would be returning to the NBA. Conley said at the time Oden had interest in the Heat, and he said Thursday that remains the case. Even though hes never heard from the Heat throughout this process, Conley didnt want to rule them out for the future and said its certainly possible he eventually could talk to Miami officials. "Anybody would like to play for a team that can contend for a title, and it is a team that needs another big man," said Conley, a former track star and the father of Memphis point guard Mike Conley Jr., said about Oden's interest in Miami. The Heat, who have outrebounded by 17 or more in three of their past five games, are desperately seeking another big man to help them this season. They got back up to a full roster of 15 on Thursday when they signed center Josh Harrellson, whom they had waived earlier this week, to a 10-day contract. The Heat now have two players on 10-day deals, so it would be easy in the near future to clear a roster spot or two. While Conley didn't want to speculate on teams for which Oden might play next season, he said Portland definitely is out of the question. After the Trail Blazers selected Oden in the 2007 draft over Kevin Durant, he only played 82 games for them in four full seasons and part of last season. "I'm not being negative, but Portland as an organization is going a different direction and Greg is going a different direction," Conley said. Oden has had five surgeries on both his knees since entering the NBA, including two surgeries last February, one being his third microfracture procedure. But Conley said Oden, who is working out on his own in Columbus, Ohio, is now jumping as well as he did before the surgeries last February. "He's rehabbing and doing very well," Oden said. Conley said Oden is regularly playing basketball, but didn't want to go into how much. Conley went so far as to say Oden one day will live up to projections and be an NBA All-Star. "I think when he comes back, maybe five or six or seven months after that, he should return to the type of player where he should have been," Conley said. "It will take some time to get his conditioning back. I think that when he comes back to playing in the NBA, he will have the ability to be an All-Star." Conley said Oden's mental state is good. He said Oden took classes last fall at Ohio State, where he played as a freshman in 2006-07, but is now not enrolled while concentrating on his rehabbing and basketball. Few players have been through what Greg has been through," Conley said. "He's been looked at as somebody who hasn't panned out and been a disappointment. He's been through a lot. But the way he has handled all of this he has inspired me." Conley said the decision was made for Oden to not try to play this season so he could work his way back on his own pace and without added pressure. But Conley said it could be beneficial if Oden were to sign with an NBA team before the end of this season for rehab purposes. "We are considering that," Conley said. "We are looking at all of our options." Asked about the Heat having only a minimum salary to potentially offer Oden, Conley said it's too early to speculate on financial considerations at this point. But Conley has no problem speculating that Oden will be back in the NBA next season. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Klay Thompson sets record as Warriors force Game 7

WATCH: Steven Adams makes a monster dunk on Draymond Green

WATCH: Noah Syndergaard tossed after throwing behind Chase Utley

White Sox in talks to acquire James Shields from Padres

NBA player shot and killed after reportedly breaking into apartment

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dodgers send top prospect back to minors after one game

DeRozan: ‘My mindset has always been Toronto’

Will soccer superstar Lionel Messi have to miss the Copa America?

Did you know Peyton Manning was "pretty close" to QBing for Titans?

WATCH: Kevin Love gives this reporter no love in press conference

Three reasons the Penguins are a lock to win the Stanley Cup

Baylor QB Russell's Instagram post about program on return from mission trip

Titans' Walker not friends with rookies until they make team

Lue had vulgar reaction to Blatt firing, urged team to reconsider

Would trading Okafor or Noel make sense for the 76ers?

Why Zlatan Ibrahimovic belongs at Manchester United

Winston lost 18 pounds to deter sophomore slump

Michigan spring break trip to Florida cost nearly $350,000

Warriors' Curry could careless about Westbrook's opinions

Christian Hackenberg: A Jet in repair

Cowboys cool on trading running backs, especially Ezekiel Elliott

Have we seen enough of Giants backup catcher Trevor Brown?

Vlasic donates $2,500 to Backes’ charity

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

QUIZ: Name every NBA franchise's original incarnation

The 15 biggest playoff upsets in NBA history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker