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Cleveland Cavaliers

Gooden has a deal

By admin Published: August 14, 2006

I've spoken to people with the Cavs and in Gooden's camp, there is a verbal agreement on a contract.  Not everything has been settled but things appear to be positive.  His agent Calvin Andrews told me the total package was for three years and $23 million fully guaranteed with no team or player options.

This came together over the last few days, but they have been talking about the possibility of a shorter deal for a few weeks.  It appears the Cavs were willing to go a little higher on the average salary -- more than $7.5 per year -- if Drew took a shorter.  This makes him more tradeable to the Cavs over the next few years and richer in the meantime.

This is going to be spun both sides as the "Larry Hughes model," the idea of taking a shorter contract to set yourself up for a big one down the road. If you remember, Hughes signed a three-year deal in Washington and it set him up for a near max with the Cavs.  Expect to see something similar for Chris Wilcox now in Seattle.

Also, I sort of expect this deal to start high and then descend in value.  This will help ease the luxury tax burden over the years when Anderson Varejao's new contract and LeBron's extension get going.  For more on that, read my Sunday Column.

A story will be on shortly.

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