The beauty of 10-day contracts is that they create low-risk, high-reward situations for teams looking for short term solutions. After a pair of 10-day contracts that saw veteran F Drew Gooden fill in for the injured Nene, the Wizards are sitting pretty at what appears to be a highly rewarding situation. Gooden has been solid in Nene’s stead, helping the Wizards to a 5-3 record in his absence.
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Gooden has given the Wizards added depth, coming off the bench for 8.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game when he’s only averaging 14.6 minutes a game. Those are solid numbers for a reserve player, but Gooden’s intangibles as a veteran leader with playoff experience and locker room presence make him all the more valuable. Clearly the Wizards feel that way, because earlier today it was announced that Gooden’s services would be retained for the rest of the season as the Wiz Kids try and stay in playoff contention.
The announcement came after Gooden’s strong performance Saturday against Brooklyn, where he posted 21 points and nine rebounds as the Wizards rallied from behind en route to a 101-94 win at home. Hopefully this upward trend will continue, there’s about a month left in the season and the Wizards are right up in there with Chicago and Toronto to fight for those 3-4-5 seeds. It’s never a bad time to have guys like Gooden in the locker room, but his presence and value are needed now more than ever and he’s more than deserving of the contract he received to finish the season in Washington. Not ruling out the possibility they pick him up on a veteran minimum one year deal at the end of the season, contingent on his ability to keep up the good work.