Gooden, Milicic Reach Long Term Deals with Bucks, Wolves
Two men looking for stability appear to have found it. Drew Gooden signed a 5 -year, $32M contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, and in Minneapolis, Darko Milicic agreed to a reported 4-year, $20M deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Gooden, 29, has played for eight different teams in his eight seasons in the NBA, and is looking for a stable home. The signing before the free agent deadline also allowed Milwaukee to improve its front line with his rebounding ability and could form a good duo with Andrew Bogut.
The Bucks have already improved their overall roster led by star Brandon Jennings with the additions of Chris Douglas-Roberts (via trade from the New Jersey Nets), and Corey Maggette (via trade from the Golden State Warriors). Milwaukee is also looking to keep John Salmons by re-signing him to the team as well.
Milicic, 25, has finally found a home in Minnesota. After playing for four teams in seven seasons, and being considered a bust in a draft where he was sandwiched between LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in 2003.
He played in 24 games for the Wolves last season (starting in 18) where he averaged 8.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.
With the new contract, and finally feeling that a team believes in him, it appears that Darko will have a full chance to show the world what he can do. He will defintely have to work to keep that starting position, as Kevin Love will be making a genuine case to be a starter for Minnesota and head coach Kurt Rambis.
With Milicic's signing, and the courting of David Lee in the free agency period, expect current big man Al Jefferson to be traded.