by Marcel Mutoni

The NBA’s economic situation being what it is these days, these types of cost-cutting moves are to be expected. And contenders are licking their chops at the possibility of acquiring guys like the newly-freed Joe Smith and Drew Gooden.

From the Sacramento Bee and The Oklahoman:

Drew Gooden’s Sacramento stay is over. The forward acquired Feb. 18 in a six-player trade with Chicago agreed to a buyout from the Kings and was waived Sunday night. The move was yet another financially motivated decision by the Kings, who are believed to have saved $2 million while allowing Gooden to possibly join a playoff contender.

[...]

For the second consecutive year, Joe Smith might be joining Cleveland at mid-season to try and help the Cavaliers make a run at an NBA championship. The Thunder waived Smith on Sunday — or bought out his contract — hours before the deadline in which teams must have a player on the roster to be eligible for the playoffs…“This was a very sound basketball and business decision,” Presti said. “Moving forward, Joe’s opportunity on the floor was limited with some of the other guys on the roster. This also gives us roster flexibility.”

Interestingly enough, the Cavs must choose between the two bigs, both of whom used to ply their trade in Cleveland. It is Smith, though, who’s expected to join Team LeBron later this week.