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Archive for Saturday, July 24, 2004

Cavaliers acquire Gooden

July 24, 2004

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Drew Gooden is headed to his third NBA team in three seasons.

The Orlando Magic traded Gooden, a 6-foot-10 power forward, center Steven Hunter and the rights to second-round draft pick Anderson Varejao to Cleveland on Friday for veteran forward/center Tony Battie.

The Magic also will receive two future second-round picks.

"I'm elated," Gooden, a former All-American at Kansas University, said Friday. "I'll get the chance to show what I can do. The opportunity just wasn't going to be there in Orlando. Going to Cleveland will be great for me."

Gooden, who played for Memphis and Orlando his rookie season, averaged 11.6 points and 6.5 rebounds last season. The Magic reportedly were frustrated with Gooden's defense and concerned about how he would respond to sharing playing time with No. 1 draft pick Dwight Howard, who plays the same position.

"I know that Tony, compared to Drew, is better for our team," Magic general manager John Weisbrod told the Orlando Sentinel. "He's a better fit, more the type of person and player we are looking to accumulate. He'll be a good type of person to play in Dwight's shadow."

Gooden is happy to be headed to Cleveland to join LeBron James and Company.

"Cleveland is one of the places I wanted to go," Gooden said. "Cleveland needs someone other than LeBron to score. He wants to win, and so do I. I think it's a great fit for me. There are a lot of reasons to like this move."

Before making the trade for Battie, the Magic also talked with several teams about Gooden. Among those the Magic considered acquiring was Seattle second-year power forward Nick Collison, according to one West Coast team official.

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