National Basketball Association
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                          === Heat sign Greg Oden ===
 
 Miami,  FL (Sports Network) - The Miami Heat have officially signed former No.
 1  draft  pick Greg Oden, who  hasn't played a game  in the NBA the last three
 seasons due to injuries.
 
 It was reported last week that it's a two-year contract. The second year has a
 player option.
 
 "I  am  very excited and  happy to  be here," Oden  said. "I'm thankful to the
 Miami Heat organization for bringing me in and I'm ready to get to work."
 
 Since being taken as the top overall pick by Portland in 2007, Oden has played
 in only 82 contests. The Trail Blazers waived Oden on March 15, 2012. That was
 after he made nearly $23.3 million in salary.
 
 The  7-foot  Oden will  join a team  that has won  back-to-back NBA titles and
 consists of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
 
 Oden has had three microfracture surgeries on his knees, most recently on Feb.
 20,  2012.  The last game Oden  appeared in was  Dec. 5, 2009. He averaged 8.9
 points and 7.0 rebounds in his first season in the league and then 11.1 points
 and 8.5 boards in 21 contests in the 2009-10 campaign.
 
 "After  many months of discussion, evaluations and speaking with Greg, we felt
 it was the perfect time for him to make his comeback and re-enter the NBA with
 the Miami Heat," team president Pat Riley said.
 
 "It's  a  great challenge for  him," Riley added. "We  know all about his past
 injuries,  but we feel  that there is a huge upside and the possibility of him
 helping  us.  We will continue his  program and then we will tackle basketball
 issues after that."
 
 
 08/07 13:54:11 ET