Cleveland — The Cleveland Cavaliers may be growing impatient in contract talks with forward Drew Gooden, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
The Cavs according to the paper are hoping to schedule a meeting with free agent forward Reggie Evans this week and might also look to pursue another free agent big man, Lorenzen Wright.
It seems the team is looking to investigate other options in case the talks with former Kansas University forward Gooden don't work out, and it might also be trying to put pressure on him to accept the current deal on the table.
They own the rights to Gooden, so they can match any offers and also can sign him without using the exceptions. Indications are that the Cavs have offered Gooden a contract starting at about $6.5 million per year, worth around $45-$48 million if the deal goes the maximum six years.
Gooden's agents, Bill Duffy and Calvin Andrews, are looking for something closer to the six-year, $60 million deal the Nuggets gave forward Nene.
Gooden also has the option of playing out a one-year, $5.3 million contract to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
If that happens, the Cavaliers might lose Gooden for nothing, because, due to National Basketball Association rules, he'd have to approve a trade.
There have been some rumors that the Cavs were in talks with the Phoenix Suns for a sign-and-trade involving Gooden and forward Kurt Thomas.
According to insiders, that isn't currently a possibility.
Meanwhile, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, former KU player Wayne Simien took part in the one-day 'Shoot for the Stars Summer 2006 Books and Basketball Clinics staged by the Miami Heat. DeAndre Phillips, business media relations coordinator for the Heat told Sunday's Jamaica Observer that the Heat achieved their goal - to promote literacy while teaching some fundamentals of basketball.
Over 100 children and teenagers attended the clinic that was staged inside the Lorna Nembhard auditorium at a local community college.
Erik Spolestra, an assistant coach with the Miami Heat, conducted several drills after taking the participants through a series of warm-up exercises.
The Heat's 'Xtreme Team', a three-man group, also entertained the large turn out with a series of high flying dunks. The Montego Bay stop was the third in a series that started in the Dominican Republic and Nassau in The Bahamas and Phillips said they had similar "enthusiastic" responses."
A release announcing the event had said "in addition to providing instructional lessons, motivational speaking, and fundamental basketball skills, each clinic will promote the NBA Cares and Read to Achieve initiatives, the year-round campaigns to help young people develop a life-long love for reading and encourage adults to read regularly with children."
Simien was the only Heat player who made the trip and took part in a number of shooting clinics with some of the younger children and also led the reading session at the start of the day's activities. He visited the children's ward at a regional hospital where he helped distribute gift packages.