Wizards Sign Drew Gooden To 10-day ContractPosted on February 26, 2014 by Carla Peay
The Washington Wizards have signed veteran Drew Gooden to a 10-day contract. Gooden is a 6-foot-10 power forward/center who most recently played for the Milwaukee Bucks.
"We will rely on all of our frontcourt players to step up and contribute as we go through this stretch without Nene," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement. "Signing Drew gives us size, shooting ability and experience to add to that mix."
Gooden, 32, has played 11 seasons combined for Memphis, Orlando, Cleveland, Chicago, Sacramento, San Antonio, Dallas, the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee. He has appeared in 687 regular-season games (493 starts) during his career, averaging 11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists during 27.0 minutes per game.
The Wizards are officially Gooden's 10th team during his career. His four-day stint with the Wizards as part of a trade during the 2010 season came and went without Gooden ever suiting up for Washington.
Memphis drafted Gooden fourth overall in 2002, and he last played during the 2012-13 campaign with Milwaukee, where he averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds during 16 games. Gooden has averaged 10.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 27.1 minutes during 44 career postseason games with Orlando, Cleveland and San Antonio, including a run to the 2007 NBA Finals with the Cavaliers.
Gooden is scheduled to practice with the Wizards Feb. 26 and be in uniform for their next game -- a road matchup with the Toronto Raptors Feb. 27.
His presence should help provide some much-needed depth in the middle as Washington prepares to finish the regular season without Nene, who is expected to miss the next six weeks with a strained left MCL. The two players the Wizards will likely rely on most heavily in Nene's absence, forward Trevor Booker and center Kevin Seraphin, are also battling nagging injuries.
Seraphin missed the Feb. 25 game, a 115-106 win against the Orlando Magic, with a sore right knee and is listed as day to day. Booker was also noticeably limping during the Orlando game. Veteran forward Al Harrington is also available, as is forward Chris Singleton, who has gotten limited playing time most of the season because of coach Randy Wittman's short rotations.
Starting center Marcin Gortat will also have a much bigger load on his shoulder without his partner in the paint, Nene.
"Listen, Nene's not here, but I got to lead this team, help the team inside," Gortat said, "and I'm going to run to the block and demand the ball. I believe I'm capable of doing it. I feel confident, and if I'm scoring, I'll demand the ball even more."
Video: Drew Gooden talks about joining the Wizards:
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