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Centre Greg Oden is one of the NBA's highly touted free agents who will be free to communicate with clubs interested in his services for the upcoming season. (AP File Photo/Kevork Djansezian) (Kevork Djansezian/AP)
Centre Greg Oden is one of the NBA's highly touted free agents who will be free to communicate with clubs interested in his services for the upcoming season. (AP File Photo/Kevork Djansezian) (Kevork Djansezian/AP)

NBA teams can start talking to players Add to ...

NBA teams can start talking directly to players starting Monday, but they will still have to be careful regarding how much they say, according to ESPN.com.

Starting at 10 a.m. Monday, contact will be allowed with players, including free agents, sources told the website.

But there are still restrictions as to the level of conversation, meaning no agreements can be reached either verbally or in writing, because the lockout has not yet technically ended, sources told ESPN.

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Training camp and official free agency is expected to begin Dec. 9.

While the players and owners are still negotiating some smaller details of the pending Collective Bargaining Agreement and are expected to again meet Monday, sources said coaches cannot yet oversee workouts on the court, according to the report.

Free agents will be allowed to undergo physicals.

The sides are hoping to have a deal in place with votes by players and owners coming next Thursday, setting up the opening of camps the next day, ESPN The Magazine reported, citing a letter from union head Billy Hunter to players.

---The Miami Heat is interested in Greg Oden, but would have to convince the center to take less money than he would earn in making his comeback with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN.com.

Oden, who has missed most of the last two years due to knee injuries, is coveted by the Heat as a solution in the middle, sources told the website.

Oden has a one-year qualifying offer of $8.9 million to return to Portland, ESPN reported. The Heat offer would max out at the $5 million mid-level exception, according to the report.

Oden was hoping to be cleared to return to contact practices by a doctor this week and would not be able to play until at least January, ESPN reported.

---Free agent center Tyson Chandler may be serious about moving from the Dallas Mavericks to a different team.

Talks between Chandler and the Mavericks have broken down for the moment, and he plans to have discussions with three teams this week -- the Warriors, Rockets and Nets -- ESPN.com reported Sunday.

Chandler averaged 10.1 points, 9.4 rebound and 1.1 blocks for the Mavericks last season.

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