Oden has not played in the NBA for the past three seasons due to knee problems but was courted by multiple teams because he would make a relatively small salary joining LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the two-time defending NBA champs in South Beach, his agent told the Herald.
"He felt comfortable with Coach (Erik) Spoelstra," agent Mike Conley said. "Some owners and general managers say they will be patient, but feeling that from the coach made an impact.
"Erik said all the right things," Conley said, adding the Heat coach made no promises about Oden's role with the team or the amount of minutes he could expect to play.
Since being taken as the top overall pick by Portland in 2007, the 7-foot Oden has played in only 82 games.
The Trail Blazers waived Oden March 15, 2012.
Oden has had three microfracture surgeries on his knees, most recently in 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 season.