Wizards

Wizards

Drew Gooden's tenure with the Wizards is officially over after he was waived Thursday, on the first day free-agent contracts could be signed, to clear salary cap space for new faces. 

Gooden, who was due to make $3.6 million on a non-guranteed deal, spent two-plus seasons with the Wizards.

He was a key compenent in turning around a sub-.500 2013-14 season when he was acquired after the trading deadline as a free agent. Gooden played in 22 games to spark the Wizards to 44 wins and their first playoff appearance in six years.

CSNmidatlantic.com reported on May 18 that Gooden would likely be released.

He averged 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds to give them a legtimate stretch option in a big man. But the returns diminshed each season after that, to 5.4 points and a career-low 2.7 after a 41-41 season in 2015-16. Repeated calf strains limited Gooden to just 30 appearances.

The Wizards had until July 15 to waive Gooden or his contract would become fully guaranteed. They needed relief under the $94 million cap to officially sign Ian Mahinmi, Trey Burke, Jason Smith, Andrew Nicholson and Tomas Satoransky, so they couldn't hold out to ship out his salary in a trade.

All of the new faces, except for Satoransky, are expected to be at Verizon Center on Friday.

The Wizards could've made this move sooner but waited until they couldn't find a way to use Gooden's non-guaranteed deal in trade. Gooden will be 35 before the next season starts but CSNmidatlantic.com reported that he doesn't have plans to retire. 

 

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