Bucks use amnesty provision to waive Drew Gooden

The Milwaukee Bucks have waived forward Drew Gooden under the amnesty provision, the team announced Tuesday evening.

Gooden, 31, had two years and $13.36 million remaining on a five-year, $32 million contract he signed with Milwaukee in 2010.

While Gooden will still get paid, the Bucks won’t have the money count against the salary cap. The amnesty provision was added in the collective bargaining agreement in 2011, allowing teams to waive a player without his salary counting against the salary cap or luxury tax.

Teams were allowed to use the amnesty provision on just one player before the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement. Gooden was Milwaukee’s last chance to use the provision since he was the last player on the roster signed before the lockout.

After averaging 24.6 and 26.2 minutes per game in his first two seasons with the Bucks, Gooden’s playing time dropped drastically last season. He averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in just 9.4 minutes per game.

Milwaukee added Gooden after he played a stretch of the best basketball of his career with the Los Angeles Clippers late in the 2009-10 season. Starting the year with the Dallas Mavericks, Gooden was traded to Washington on Feb. 10, 2010, and was traded to the Clippers just four days later in a three-team trade.

Gooden averaged 14.9 points and 9.4 rebounds in 24 games for the Clippers, leading the Bucks to offer him a big contract the following summer.

In his first season with the Bucks, Gooden was limited to just 35 games due to plantar fasciitis, averaging 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

With Andrew Bogut injured and then traded during the 2011-12 season, Gooden was asked to play out of position, often times battling players much bigger than him at the center position. He started 46 of the 56 games he played in during the 2011-12 season, averaging 13.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Whether the beating he took the season prior had anything to do with it, Gooden never was in Scott Skiles’ or Jim Boylan’s rotation last season. He never played consistent minutes, as most of his time on the floor came during garbage time.

While using the amnesty provision on Gooden certainly makes sense, the Bucks still had to decide to eat the money owed to the 11-year veteran. The move frees up more room under the salary cap for the Bucks to work with this offseason.

Drafted fourth overall out of the University of Kansas by Memphis in 2002, Gooden has played in 687 career games with the Grizzlies, Magic, Cavaliers, Bulls, Kings, Spurs, Mavericks, Clippers and Bucks.

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