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Making a case for Drew Gooden

Maybe it is the colorful personalities of both Chris ‘The Birdman’ Andersen and Drew Gooden, but those two are a match made in heaven as a dynamic duo off the bench.

Their energetic personalities would wreck havoc on opposing benches, as the two bring two very different strengths to the court. Andersen with his high flying blocks and dunks and Gooden with his steady scoring and rebounding. The two would be the zing to the other ones zang.

Gooden doesn’t bring a strong resume, he was the third pick in the 2002 NBA Draft and has played with eight different teams. Part of the reason why he has bounced around the league was because of his inconsistency. There are games where he would be a 20-10 player and others where he’d be lucky to score five points. However, that inconsistency is nothing new to the Nuggets, but when he is off it isn’t as bad as when somebody like JR Smith is off. Gooden still brings something to the floor on his off nights.

The former Kansas Jayhawk star had his best season of his career in 2003-04 when he averaged 14.4 points and 9.2 rebounds while playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. D-Good, who will turn 29 in September, almost had an identical output while playing the 24 games with the Clippers this season. He also posted a rare 20-20 game versus the Mavericks, with 26 points and 20 rebounds.

Offensively, Gooden is a solid player with a decent midrange shot that works well in the pick-and-pop. He also has a good hook shot that he goes to at times. Gooden isn’t a particularly strong defender, but he isn’t a bad one either. He is good on pick-and-rolls – partly due to his athleticism and mobility.

Gooden also is a very good free throw shooter, he is only a career 74.7 percent free throw shooter but over the previous three seasons he has shot close to .80 percent from the charity stripe.

The Nuggets wouldn’t be the only team interested in Gooden’s services this offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks are rumored to be the main destination for the veteran power forward. It helps that Gooden doesn’t ask for outrageous money. Last season he signed a 1-year deal with the Mavericks for $4.5 million that wasn’t fully guaranteed. And considering that he has played for six teams over the previous three years he is probably looking for more stability than financial support.

Gooden’s trip through the NBA

  • June, 2002- Drafted by Memphis Grizzlies with the fourth pick
  • February, 2003-Traded to the Orlando Magic for Mike Miller and Ryan Humphrey
  • July, 2004-Traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the likes of Anderson Varajeo for Tony Battie
  • February, 2008- Traded to the Chicago Bulls in a three-way trade that involved Ben Wallace, Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak and Larry Hughes.
  • February, 2009-The Bulls sent Gooden to Sacramento with Andres Nocioni for John Salmons and Brad Miller
  • February, 2009-Sacramento Kings bought out Gooden
  • March, 2009- Signed with the San Antonio Spurs
  • July, 2009-Signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks
  • February, 2010-Dallas traded Gooden to the Washington Wizards for Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler
  • February, 2010-Wizards traded Gooden to the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-way trade which sent Antawin Jamison to the Cavaliers and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the Wizards.

Gooden and Birdman would be a colorful duo off the bench.

Photos by Jonathan Maness

Topics: Chris Andersen, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Drew Gooden, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs

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