The Washington Wizards will look a bit different on Friday after Wednesday's pre-trade deadline moves.
But Drew Gooden is hopeful the team is heading in the right direction.
The team cleared some crucial cap space by swapping Markieff Morris for Wesley Johnson and Otto Porter for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker. And as Gooden said on the Wizards Talk podcast, each of them will have a chance to make a difference.
"It's a trial for him too to see if he can still play," Gooden said of Johnson. "Because guess what? The Washington Wizards need manpower right now. They're shorthanded and anybody that's available to play should have a chance to play now."
And, if nothing else, Gooden promises he's a good guy for the locker room as a well-respected, team-oriented veteran.
As for Portis?
"I tell you what, the kid's tough," he said. "And Joakim Noah's the first person to tell me this, it was preseason when he was with the Bulls, Bobby's rookie year. And I said 'how's Bobby Portis?' ... and he said 'he's nice. But he talks a lot of smack ... he made a shot on me and he said something.'"
Gooden loved it. "So he's one of us?" he responded. "Because that's how me and Joakim play. And it's funny how you can think that there's not going to be aggressive guys that come into this game and play with a chip on their shoulder. You think it somehow just goes away. People used talk about DeMarcus Cousins when he first got into the league and why is he getting so many technical fouls and what's going on. I was like hey Rasheed just retired, you don't think there's going to be another guy that transforms into these types of players? These players are going to emerge all over in NBA history.
"I think Bobby has a bad rap on an incident that happened in practice ..." he added, referring to a 2017 fight between Portis and Nikola Mirotic at practice that ended in Portis' suspension. "I think this is another opportunity for Bobby to have a clean slate. He's out of Chicago. We know he can play. We need physical toughness on this team. Rebounding, scoring."
Washington made the moves on Wednesday, days after team owner Ted Leonsis told WTOP that they had no plans to trade Porter and one day after the team announced John Wall was undergoing surgery on a ruptured Achilles.
"These moves were going to happen anyway, they needed to happen," Gooden said. "From a Washington Wizards perspective, if you look at it, you're trying to recover from some mistakes you probably made or some choices you made that haven't panned out. So management has an opportunity to regroup, have an opportunity to save money, get the books right. And in doing that you're getting some good players. Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker, Wesley Johnson, great veteran guy. I like the moves the Wizards are making and I think moves are going to be made whether the John Wall news happened two days ago or 10 days prior.
"I don't think that was any type of incentive to make a trade, I think they were going to do that anyway."
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