Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Covitz/Star Say Gooden's Found an NBA Home.....Trade Talk Suggests Otherwise

On Tuesday, Randy Covitz and the Star published a sizeable feature on former Jayhawk Drew Gooden. According to Covitz’s piece, the 23-year-old Gooden, now on his 3rd team (the Cleveland Cavaliers) in as many years, has finally hit his stride in the league.

The feature comes fives days after the NBA trade deadline had come and gone (surprise, surprise). Last week, ten NBA trades were executed, involving 35 players. Since Gooden was (for once) not among those on the move, the Star finally had the green light to run this easy piece.

There's just a little bit of information the Star conviently overlooked in this piece: Gooden's job security with the Cavs is far from rock-solid. In fact, reports during the last minute trading frenzy actually sugget Gooden was close to being shipped off to his 4th employer.

Last week, as NBA player movement were taking place, Gooden's name was brought up in multiple trade proposals. Cavs GM Jim Paxson was (and still is) looking at his current personnel and trying to identify who would fit down the road with LeBron James. Paxson refused to say Gooden was untouchable as the trade deadline loomed last week (NBA Translation: he can be had for the right price). In this case, the price was shooting (of the rare, accurate variety).

The Cavs sorely need perimeter shooting to open up lanes for James (as well as Zydrunas llgauskas and his 7'3" inside game). Unfortunately, shooting is always at a premium in the NBA, and Gooden's blue collar efforts were just not enough to net the Cavs the sharpshooter they coveted (Milwaukee’s Michael Redd, who will be a free agent this summer).

So for now, the Cavs and Gooden are joined at the hip. The question isn't whether or not he'll be moved this summer, but if Covitz and the Star will publish a follow-up (Is their such thing as a feature designed to retract the sentiments generated through a previous feature?) when Gooden is uprooted from his new 'home' and begins to ‘hit his stride’ elsewhere.

*Unfortunately, Tuesday's piece did not include any 'classic' Gooden quotes, such as those he gave following his selection by Memphis in the 2002 NBA Draft.

"I didn't even know Elvis was from Memphis," said Gooden. "I thought he was from Tennessee."

"I've lived in Kansas," Gooden said. "That's about as bad as it gets." (Gooden later said that he only meant to imply that Kansas is in the middle of nowhere).

-6/27/02, KC Star


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