John Wall had grown so accustom to the scene: a lackluster start to the season and segments of the Wizards' locker room slowly griping. This team meeting, teammates had settled upon the chair of the franchise’s max player. Read More. Written by Shams Charania on Mar 11, 2014
As he prepared to join an NBA team midseason, Drew Gooden maintained his training in Washington and had long made clear to Wizards management that he was interested in a possible signing. Once the Wizards cleared a roster spot during the trade deadline, they elevated interest in Gooden and signed him to a 10-day contract when injury issues struck the frontcourt.
“I live in the Washington area, and I’m tired of moving,” Gooden told RealGM. “The Wizards already knew I was interested in them, and we got a deal done. Ernie [Grunfield] and Tommy Sheppard did a great job of getting this deal done. It’s a great move for them getting into the playoffs.”
Gooden had gone unsigned after being released in the summer by the Milwaukee Bucks through the amnesty provision.
“I was watching the game from afar and critiquing the NBA, observing games and what type of player I would be when I come back,” he said. “The time off was a reset for me in my career.”
Gooden went scoreless in his first two appearances this season, but he’s produced 25 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the last two games – further cementing the Wizards’ plan to sign the 12-year pro for the remainder of the season as long as he remains healthy into the expiration of his second 10-day contract.
“I’m just happy to have the opportunity,” Gooden said. “Everything else is out of my hands.”
The Washington Wizards have signed Drew Gooden to a 10-day contract.
“We will rely on all of our frontcourt players to step up and contribute as we go through this stretch without Nene,” said Grunfeld. “Signing Drew gives us size, shooting ability and experience to add to that mix.”
Gooden (6-10, 230) has played 11 seasons with Memphis, Orlando, Cleveland, Chicago, Sacramento, San Antonio, Dallas, the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee, appearing in 687 career regular season games (493 starts) while averaging 11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 27.0 minutes per contest.
Gooden will wear No. 90 for the Wizards.
"I got 90," said Gooden to Michael Lee of the Washington Post. "They said I got to let 0 cool off for a second."
Gilbert Arenas wore No. 0 for the Wizards, but was traded to the Orlando Magic in 2010.
Nene suffered a left knee injury in Sunday night's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers and will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the ailment.
Nene's Washington Wizards teammates hoped for the best.
“It’s too early to say, but we’re all scared. We’re hoping it’s nothing serious,” Marcin Gortat said. “It was really hard. But we’ve seen that if we play good defense, if everybody is engaged and locked in, we are a good team. We kind of forgot that Nene was missing, and we’re glad we got that win.”
Nene is averaging 14.4 points and 5.8 rebounds this season.