Monday, July 27, 2009

What's Wrong With This Guy (Besides The Facial Hair)?

What's the catch? That's the question I've been asking since the Dallas Mavericks acquired 6'10" forward/center Drew Gooden.

I look at his profile: he's was the fourth pick of the draft out of Kansas. He was n
amed one of the "Good Guys in Sports" by the Sporting News. He was on a Final Four team in college, he's made it to the NBA post-season. What's the caveat to acquiring him? Is he just another talented college player who simply sucks in the pros?

The NBA is littered with untalented hacks who just happen to be tall. General managers in the NBA drone
on and on about how you can't teach size. This is true, but you apparently can't teach grace to some of these guys either as evidenced by their lumbering style of running and movement of a fence post. They just stand there and collect fouls. That's all they do.

Gooden thou
gh has averaged double digit points every year and close to double digit rebounds. He isn't a foul machine, in fact last year he averaged fewer personal fouls per game than such celebrated stars as Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, and Amare Stoudemire. He doesn't have the best field goal percentage, he misses as many shots as he actually makes, but he's not a disaster offensively.

So why is it that Drew Gooden has been on six teams in only seven seasons? The past two years
have been worse as he's bounced around like a pinball between five different teams.

Even today as Gooden signs with the Mavericks, he's only there because Orlando stunned Dallas by matching the team's offer to Magic backup center Marcin Gortat while also stealing Brandon Bass away from the Mavericks. Dallas was desperate and so they signed Gooden to a short contract.

Maybe Dallas will end up being the perfect match for Gooden. He's on a team of jump shooters so he has the inside scoring all to himself and his only competition is Erik Dampier (see above about the untalented hacks). If not, at least Gooden knows how to move cities quickly. In fact, I bet he doesn't even unpack his suitcases.

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