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Past Fantasy Outlooks
There aren't many players remaining from the 2002 NBA Draft. Drew Gooden is one of a handful who has held onto their reserve role to have a longer career. Mike Dunleavey, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Caron Butler are among the other members of that draft to survive. The 6-10 power forward is the definition of an NBA vagabond. He has not remained at any one destination for longer than four seasons and has now played for 10 different teams. Gooden is entering his third season with the Wizards and has found a comfortable bench role with the team. He played 17 minutes in 51 games (seven starts) and averaged 5.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 0.4 steals, and 0.2 blocks. Gooden has developed a three-point shot in his late career and hit 39 percent of his long range shots for 0.5 treys per game last season. In the playoffs, Gooden stayed in the rotation and provided 6.8 points, 1.2 three-pointers, and 5.5 rebounds as the team advanced to the conference semifinals. In the new season, Gooden should remain in the mix for power forward minutes with Nene Hilario and Kris Humphries.
Out of the league for much of last season after being amnestied by the Milwaukee Bucks, Gooden signed a 10-day contract with the Wizards in February, and then emerged as a key part of the team's frontcourt rotation. He first got significant run in March and early April while Nene Hilario was hurt, only to fall out of favor once Nene returned at the end of the regular season. Gooden finished the season with averages of 8.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.3 blocks in 18 minutes per game, while shooting 53 percent from the field and 89 percent from the line. He then had an interesting playoffs, as 26 of his 36 minutes in a first-round series against the Bulls came in one game, the contest for which Nene was suspended. However, even with Nene able to play, Gooden logged at least 14 minutes in each of the six games during a second-round series against Indiana, averaging 5.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, and 0.5 blocks over 18 mpg. Re-signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, Gooden joins a frontcourt rotation that is deeper than last year's, after the Wizards added DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries. Known to be a bit over-eager on offense and a bit lackadaisical on defense, Gooden is in that way unique among Washington's backup bigs. However, with the team sporting improved depth, the 32-year-old Gooden will have a hard time matching last season's 18 mpg, unless he unexpectedly makes some late-career strides on defense.
An early season injury to Andrew Bogut opened the door for Gooden to have one of the better seasons of his career in 2011-12. After bouncing around the rotation for the first month of the season, Gooden was able to lock up a spot in the starting five when Bogut hit the shelf. Gooden responded by averaging 15.5 points and 7.1 rebounds in 46 starts. The holes in Gooden’s game remained evident, though, as he shot just 43.7 percent from the floor while chipping in little on defense (0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks). Unfortunately for Gooden, the Bucks re-signed Ersan Ilyasova and traded for Samuel Dalembert this offseason, which means his starting spot will likely be gone. He could also lose some time to Ekpe Udoh, who came over in the trade deadline deal that sent Bogut to Golden state. Entering his 10th season, we know what Gooden has to offer skill-wise – he’s a capable scorer who rarely passes up a shot while providing little help on the defensive end of the court. Despite the expected change in role, Gooden could thrive as a scoring punch off the Bucks’ bench, which could hold value in deeper formats.
The Bucks signed Gooden to a five-year deal a year ago only to watch him play in 35 games in his debut season with the team. In the games he did play in, Gooden was mainly ineffective, averaging just 6.8 rebounds while shooting a dreadful 43.1 percent from the field. A healthy Gooden should get back on track a bit this season, but he’ll likely have to do it from the bench, at least at the beginning.
Gooden's five-year, $32 million contract raised some eyebrows (after all, he has been on seven different teams in the last four years), but he's a good fit in the Bucks' frontcourt. Able to play either power forward or center, Gooden averaged 14.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in 24 games after joining the Clippers last year. He may not play 30-plus minutes this season like he did in Los Angeles, but he could still average 10-12 points and roughly eight rebounds per game.
Gooden is an NBA nomad joining his seventh team in just his eighth NBA season. Regardless of his home Gooden has been exceptionally consistent averaging 12.0 points and 7.9 rebounds for his career. Dallas will use him in a role similar to that of Brandon Bass last season, playing him at center and power forward making Gooden worth a late-round pick.
Gooden performed reasonably well after a mid-season trade to Chicago, posting averages of 14.0 points, 9.2 boards and 46.1 percent shooting from the floor. But the Bulls are well-stocked at the four spot, and Gooden can’t compete with the likes of Joakim Noah or Tyrus Thomas in the all-important categories of youth and potential on a team that seems to be rebuilding around first overall pick Derrick Rose. Watch the preseason closely. If new coach Vinny Del Negro decides that Gooden will make a good steadying influence on a young team, he’ll be worth a look. But if he appears to be lagging behind Noah, Thomas or Andreas Nocioni in the rotation, look elsewhere.
Gooden is likely the most talented big man on the Cavs roster. Unfortunately, he has consistently made poor decisions on the court (and at the barber shop) that have prevented him from ever really breaking out. Still, he’s a rock-solid double-double threat for his entire tenure in Cleveland, and his 11.1 points and 8.5 boards per do come in handy. He’s also a relative iron man, having missed only six games total over the past four years. The Cavs have not changed their roster appreciably this offseason, so there’s no reason to expect Gooden’s production to change much, if at all, from the past few years.
Gooden is a solid rebounder (8.4 rpg), but last season a time-split with Donyell Marshall and Anderson Varejao led to a career-low 10.7 ppg for Gooden, even though he shot a career-high 51% from the field. At 6-10 and athletic, Gooden is the most physically gifted of the three but doesn’t display the veteran smarts of Marshall or the enthusiasm and defense of Varejao, which often keeps him on the bench in crucial moments. Since he will be competing with those same players for opportunity again this season, Gooden’s outlook shouldn’t change much.
Gooden had his best statistical season in 2004-05, averaging 14.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, upping his free throw percentage to 81%, and putting up moderately useful numbers for fantasy leaguers. But on the court, the Cavs grew frustrated with Gooden's mental mistakes and signed Donyell Marshall in the offseason to replace him. Gooden will still get minutes, as Marshall could spend some time at the three with LeBron James and Larry Hughes playing together in the backcourt, but such a lineup would leave the Cavs without a true point guard. As a result, Gooden could be trade bait to get the Cavs some point guard help; in any case, he's unlikely to match his numbers from last year with Marshall around.
Stuck behind Juwan Howard on Orlando's depth chart last season, Gooden's development was slowed. An offseason trade to Cleveland solves that problem. Gooden takes over Carlos Boozer's role as rebounder, low-post presence, and recipient of brilliant passes from LeBron James. Look for him to post significant improvements to his career averages of 12 points and 6.5 boards.
After a strong rookie showing last season, Gooden should improve his numbers across the board. In addition to playing the power forward slot, Gooden will also be tasked to play more minutes at center due to the offseason acquisition of Juwan Howard. The only question regarding Gooden is how he handles some of the NBA's better big men. He struggled at times playing the position with Memphis.
More Fantasy News
Gooden finished the 2015-16 season with averages of 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds across 10.2 minutes per game in 30 appearances.
Gooden scored one point (1-2 FT) and grabbed a steal in two minutes during Wednesday's 109-98 win over the Hawks.
Gooden (coach's decision) didn't play in Monday's 124-81 win over the Pistons.
Gooden (illness) ended up playing two minutes in Thursday's loss to the Bucks. He totaled no points (0-1 FG, 0-1 3Pt) and one foul.