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March 1, 2009
Gooden agrees to buyout from Kings, is waived

UPDATE (8:16 P.M.): Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie has confirmed the buyout.

"It's something going forward that we think made sense for us given where we are, and it made sense for him," Petrie said this evening by cell phone. "It got done about 25 minutes ago."

***

Drew Gooden's Sacramento stay is over.

The forward acquired Feb. 18 in the six-player trade with Chicago has agreed to a buyout agreement with the Kings and has been waived, according to sources close to Gooden with knowledge of the situation. He has an expiring contract and is owed $7.1 million this season, but Gooden had an interest in joining a playoff team in the season's final months. To do so, he had to be waived before tonight's 9 p.m. Pacific deadline for postseason roster eligibility. The Kings, according to the sources, saved approximately $2 million in the deal.

Gooden - who had been exploring this option in recent days - will likely be on his way to a more competitive team. Cleveland could be a possibility, as could San Antonio.

While Gooden has missed his last two games with a groin injury that kept him out of action from Jan. 19 until his Kings debut on Wednesday, he remains committed to playing "until the wheels fall off" this season, as he said recently. While Gooden wasn't fully healthy in his one game with the Kings against Charlotte, he had 12 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes before leaving the floor hobbling in the fourth quarter. - Sam Amick



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