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Three-point shooting extends Drew Gooden's career

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Three-point shooting extends Drew Gooden's career

LAS VEGAS -- Although it may have appeared that the Wizards were going to move on from Drew Gooden as they waited to sign him last in free agency, that never was the case. They just had to put their ducks in a row and take care of other priorities until they got to the three-point shooting big man.

"I don't know. with the business nowadays and my journey throughout the NBA anything can happen," said Gooden on whether the thought he'd return to D.C., after playing two seasons, to CSNwashington.com at Las Vegas summer league. "I think I proved my worth with the organization and the fans. It was a no-brainer for me to come back and a no-brainer for me to sign the deal."

Gooden has one guaranteed year at $3 million, double what he made at the veteran minimum last season when he averaged 5.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 39% three-point shooting. His play during the postseason spiked, with averages of 6.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 46.2% three-point shooting as Washington advanced to the conference semifinals for the second year in a row.

His transformation, from being a hustle player who got his stats in the paint to a long-range threat, has kept Gooden viable in today's NBA where three-point shooting from the power forward spot has become vital. 

The Wizards have added Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson and Gary Neal in the offseason, giving them more depth and versatility than they've had on the perimeter in a long time. Gooden, at 6-10, fills two voids -- shooting and size -- which is why there never was a serious chance that the Wizards would let him walk. His contract was for the 15th roster spot, the maximum allowed when the 2015-16 season begins.

"We added a lot of shooters now. We got some snipers out there on the wing that can actually knock down shots consistently," Gooden said. "You can never have enough shooters. Jared Dudley provides a different dynamic at the four position being able to play power forward and being able to play small forward. Adding those guys and me coming back is going to be tremendous."

Gooden, no longer receiving amnesty checks from the Milwaukee Bucks, will be 34 when the season starts. 

"I've been working out," he said. "At my age, if I let two or three days go by, I start feeling aches and pains. I got to keep the motor running."

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5 things to know about new Wizards forward Okaro White

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5 things to know about new Wizards forward Okaro White

The Washington Wizards are set to add power forward, Okaro White to their NBA roster. Here are five things to know about the newest Wizards player...

1. White, 26, is a 6-foot-8, 205-pound power forward who played two seasons for the Miami Heat. In 41 total games, White averaged 2.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and shot 38.8 percent from the field. Though he never appeared in games with them, White also spent time with the Cavs, Hawks and Spurs. He also played Summer League for the Mavs and Grizzlies.

2. He has a decent outside shot for a big man. White has shot 35.6 percent from three in the NBA and made 37.5 percent from long range as a senior at Florida State. The fact he's an excellent free throw shooter is also a good sign. White made 79.9 percent from the line in college and has shot 86 percent in the G-League and 88 percent in the NBA.

3. White played with former Wizards first-round pick Chris Singleton in college. White was a freshman, while Singleton was a junior and the star of the team. White was also a starter on the 2011-12 team that won the Seminoles' first-ever ACC championship.

4. Though he's a bit undersized for a big man, White can block shots. He once had four in a game against the Nets on Jan. 25 of 2017 and three against the Sixers in March of that year. 

5. White's mom, Charmaine, was an Olympic athlete who represented Jamaica in track and field.

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Wizards likely to sign free agent Okaro White to fill 14th roster spot, per source

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Wizards likely to sign free agent Okaro White to fill 14th roster spot, per source

The Wizards are set to sign free agent power forward Okaro White to fill their 14th roster spot, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Washington needs to add a 14th player to reach the league roster minimum after they waived guard Chasson Randle on Nov. 11. Technically, they have until Nov. 25, per league rules which allow teams to carry 13 players for 14 days.

White, 26, has played two NBA seasons, both with the Miami Heat. He was undrafted out of Florida State University and has also spent time with the Cavs, Hawks and Spurs despite not appearing in regular season games with them.

White has played 41 total NBA games. He has career averages of 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds.

Though White will get an NBA roster spot, he could see time with the team's G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go. At the NBA level, he gives the Wizards another big man, which could come in handy depending on how long Dwight Howard is affected by his piriformis muscle injury.

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