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.”