2014-15 season outlook: Drew Gooden
Hunker down, get hydrated and tell your loved ones you will see them next spring.
Hopefully that’s not your mindset, but people should be warned: The at times seemingly never-ending NBA regular season is at hand.
The first handful of games tip off October 28, marking the start of the 82-game grind.
Thankfully for us, all we have to do is sit back, watch and enjoy. To make sure you’re fully prepared for the 2014-15 campaign, we’ll be rolling out a season outlook for each former Kansas University player who currently calls The Association home.
Drew Gooden — Washington Wizards
6-foot-10 power forward | 13th season
2013-14 numbers: 22 games | 18.0 minutes | 8.3 points | 5.2 rebounds | 53.1 FG% | 88.9 FT%
Can you name the NBA franchises Drew Gooden has played for since he left KU early back in 2002?
Yeah, probably not.
The correct answers are…
Orlando, Memphis, Orlando again, Cleveland, Chicago, Cleveland again, Chicago again, Sacramento, San Antonio, Dallas, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee and Washington.
That’s 10 teams, three encore runs and 709 regular-season games over 12 seasons.
Gooden, a career 11.7 points per game scorer, caught on with the Wizards late last season and they liked him so much they brought the ever-traveling veteran back for what they plan to turn into the franchise’s most successful run since the late 1970s.
The once-Bullets/now-Wizards have won a first-round playoff series just three times since a 1979 Finals loss to Seattle. One of those came last spring, when the ultra-talented backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal also nabbed Washington a pair of second-round wins against Indiana before the Pacers finished them off in the conference semifinals.
The Wizards will expect continued growth from their two stars, whom they’ve surrounded with veterans such as Gooden and another ’Hawk in the NBA, Paul Pierce.
Gooden, who signed a one-year free-agent deal this past summer, could only last this season in Washington. Still, while he is there, he’ll provide some quality depth to a frontcourt that includes Marcin Gortat, Nene and DeJuan Blair. At 33, he might be getting up there in NBA years, but he can come in and rebound and/or score for you in a pinch.
So what do we expect out of Gooden for the 2014-15 season?
He probably won’t play major minutes off the bench unless Washington runs into injury or foul trouble. However, he’ll be a part of one of the up-and-coming teams in the Eastern Conference and every once in a while get to prove he’s still got some double-digit production hidden somewhere in his beard.
’Hawks in the NBA 2014-15 season outlooks: