The Washington Wizards have been having a great season. Unfortunately, the Wizards recently loss Nene Hilario for about six weeks due to an MCL sprain. In light of his absence, Washington needs to figure out their game plan with one of their front court stars sidelined.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Washington is going to give Drew Gooden a 10-day contract. The Wizards are signing Gooden in hopes that he will help the frontcourt while Nene is out. The team also is hoping to find a forward player to stick around in the long-term. This means that Gooden’s future in Washington depends solely on his production.
Gooden was released via one-time amnesty provision by the Milwaukee Bucks last July. Since then, he has been training and waiting for a phone call to get another NBA opportunity. For his career, he averages 11.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists.
The most important thing Gooden can provide Washington is off the bench intensity and production. Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin will be able to fill the starting role of Nene, but Gooden will need to pick up the slack in rotation if he wants to find success. He had a bad year in Milwaukee, but there were external factors that caused his lack of production.
Washington’s main plan should be to rely on Booker and Seraphin to step up in Nene’s absence. Gooden will be an important piece if he can mesh and learn to contribute with the other players. Washington already has a small rotation and losing Nene makes it smaller. The Wizards cannot afford any mistakes from Gooden.