Greg Oden expects to sign soon but won't play till next year

Jonathan Daniel

In 2007 the Celtics had dreams of Durant or Oden and got Kevin Garnett instead. Maybe now they could get Oden in time for Garnett's final days.

Greg Oden is hoping to sign with a team soon and the Celtics are one of the teams mentioned on his "short list," but don't expect him to come in and save the day this year.

NBA Report: Oden signing drawing near

So forget the three microfracture knee surgeries for now. Plenty of teams are lining up to take a crack at the 7-footer. The short list reportedly includes Boston, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas. Oden's agent, Mike Conley, has insisted that Oden is 100 percent and a future All-Star. Oden is currently taking classes at Ohio State, and while he's expected to sign with a team this season, it'd be for continued rehabilitation purposes only. He plans to actually play games next season. And with the way things are going, he will indeed be back in the league.

Oden's camp is hoping to come to terms with a team sometime around the All-Star break in mid-February, or just after the Feb. 21 trading deadline.

Danny Ainge confirmed that they are "monitoring" Oden but seem to agree that if he was signed, it wouldn't be to play this year.

Danny Ainge says Boston Celtics 'monitoring' oft-injured Greg Oden - ESPN Boston

"Yeah, so we're monitoring Greg, like all the NBA teams are, but we have not attempted to sign him," Ainge said Thursday. "But we are monitoring him and having (conversations) with his people just to see where he's at." Oden hasn't played in an NBA game since December 2009, and reportedly wouldn't return until the 2013-14 season. "I don't think (he'd be ready to play this year)," Ainge said. "I don't know any of that for sure, but I would suspect that anybody that would sign him would have their eyes looking more towards his contribution in the future than now."

In 2007 the Celtics had dreams of Durant or Oden and got Kevin Garnett instead. Maybe now they could get Oden in time for Garnett's final days.

Here are some bonus league rumors:

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