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The Globe and Mail

Report: Cavs close to giving Oden another shot at NBA

Former Portland Trail Blazers centre Greg Oden is close to signing a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers (file photo).

Kevork Djansezian/AP

Greg Oden, the top pick in the 2007 NBA Draft who suffered an injury-riddled five-year stint with Portland, will be offered a contract by the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a report Friday.

The Akron Beacon Journal newspaper, citing an unnnamed NBA source, said the struggling Cavaliers would offer the 7-foot center a two-year deal with a club option for a third after the February 21 NBA trade deadline.

The Cavaliers, 15-34 and last in the NBA Central division, are looking at how to spend payroll funds under the NBA salary cap and hope the 25-year-old American big man could pay off, despite what could be a risky gamble.

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Oden was dropped by Portland last March after chronic knee injuries limited him to only 82 total games. He last played in an NBA contest on December 5, 2009.

A college star at nearby Ohio State, Oden had hoped to make a comeback next season, his agent -- former athletics star Mike Conley Snr -- told the newspaper.

Oden averaged 9,4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots a game with the Trail Blazers, but sat out three full seasons after three microfracture knee operations.

The Boston Celtics were also interested in Oden, according to the report.

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