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March 1, 2009
Gooden, Kings close to buyout agreement

Drew Gooden's Sacramento stay may be over soon.

The forward acquired Feb. 18 in the six-player trade with Chicago is close to a buyout agreement with the Kings, 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 has interest in joining a playoff team before tonight's 9 p.m. Pacific deadline for postseason roster eligibility while the Kings have a raised interest in saving money. He would have to be waived by the deadline to be able to join a new team.

While the agreement hasn't been finalized, it appears on track to be completed and 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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