News » Free agent Gooden, Spurs reach agreement


Free agent Gooden, Spurs reach agreement


Free agent Gooden, Spurs reach agreement
The Spurs have reached an agreement with free-agent power forward Drew Gooden that will add the 6-foot-10 veteran to the team's roster by the end of the week.

Gooden, in his seventh NBA season, negotiated a buyout of his contract with the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night, in time to be eligible for any team's playoff roster this season.

Gooden can't officially sign with the Spurs until today, when the league verifies he has cleared waivers. Since they have 15 players on their roster, they will first have to create a spot, most likely by waiving Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who signed a 10-day contract last Wednesday.

Mensah-Bonsu was on the inactive list for Monday's game in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

Gooden has been hampered by injuries this season, playing in only 32 games, but in his most recent outing, on Feb. 25, he scored 12 points and had 13 rebounds for the Kings in 26 minutes against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Most recently, Gooden has battled a groin strain, and he left the game against the Bobcats after experiencing some discomfort. He did not play in Sacramento's next two games.

The Spurs have been trying to add a veteran big man for several weeks. In the final hours before the NBA's trade deadline on Feb. 19, they were close to a deal for Marcus Camby, but it could not be finalized.

In Gooden, the Spurs will get a proven inside player with playoff experience that includes the 2007 NBA Finals, when he was a starter for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Spurs.

Gooden's experience playing for Cavs coach Mike Brown, a former assistant under Spurs coach Gregg Popovich who employs essentially the same defensive scheme, should give him an important advantage in making the transition.

After a standout college career at Kansas, Gooden was selected fourth overall in the 2002 draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. After one season, he was traded to Orlando. He was part of a multiple-player trade between the Magic and Cavaliers in July 2004, and remained with Cleveland for four seasons. The Cavaliers traded him to the Chicago Bulls in the deal that sent Ben Wallace to Cleveland in February 2008.

The Kings acquired him from Chicago two days before this season's trade deadline with the understanding they would try to negotiate a buyout of his contract. That was accomplished just in time for him to be eligible for another team's playoff roster.

Before sending his team out to play the Spurs on Monday night, Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said a Gooden signing would dramatically improve the Spurs for the playoffs.

"It gives them a bigger, better rebounder (than Matt Bonner)," Dunleavy said, "and a physical guy, so they can mix and match, based on who they're playing, a little bit better for sure."


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 5, 2009

 

 
Copyright © Clippersportal.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2018.