According to the Milwaukee Bucks' official twitter account, the Bucks have waived forward Drew Gooden using the amnesty provision of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Gooden's contract called for him to earn a little under $6.7 million in each of the next two seasons. With this move, that total will come off the Bucks' balance sheets for salary cap and luxury tax calculation purposes, though the team is still on the hook for the entire contract.
Under the waiver rules for players waived via amnesty, teams under the luxury tax now have the ability to bid on Gooden's services. Teams can submit full or partial bids--partial being the most likely possibility. Should a team claim Gooden off waivers, they will assume a portion of his contract equal to the value of the bid spread over his remaining two guaranteed years. It should also be noted that whatever portion of Gooden's contract the Bucks do end up paying out will count toward the required salary floor spending level. For the 2013-2014 season, the floor is set at approximately $52.8 million.
Gooden's departure represents one of the last vestiges of the Bucks' disastrous (in hindsight) post Fear the Deer offseason spending spree, when he and John Salmons inked long-term deals with the Bucks as the team looked to build on their surprising playoff appearance in the previous season. Gooden signed a fully guaranteed 5-year deal starting at the value of the mid-level exception worth a total of over $32 million. Over the course of his three years in Milwaukee, Gooden appeared in 107 games, averaging 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He played just 151 minutes last season, graciously donning a suit most nights and cheering on his teammates. The Bucks were believed to be actively seeking trade partners to take Gooden throughout the season, but couldn't find anybody willing to take on the contract with minimal compensation. As a capable rebounder and occasional floor-spacer, Gooden has a decent shot at being picked up by another team, though bids aren't likely to be very high.
Wiping out Gooden's contract affords the Bucks added flexibility to add another player this season, although their cap situation remains murky until the Brandon Jennings situation is resolved. Include Jennings' hold, the team has about $50 million committed with all their completed or soon-to-be-completed signings. The Bucks still have need for a small forward, but there aren't many starting-caliber players left on the market. It's possible the cap space could be used to facilitate a trade, perhaps in conjunction with a sign-and-trade deal with Jennings. But for now there's been no word, so it's probably too early to speculate.
All we can do for now is bid Drew a fond(-ish) farewell and thank him for being so understanding last year. We'll always have #midrange.