Even in the depleted remains of what is the free agency market, Drew Gooden doesn’t stand out as a player with too much interest in him. However, now that he’s cleared the waivers, one team that might make a run for him are the New York Knicks, in need of a backup big man.
Their first choice right now is Kenyon Martin, who was signed by the team in February of last year, and seemed like a refreshing burst of energy to a tired, injured and old frontcourt, although Martin himself will turn 36 during next season.
But Martin seems to be looking at other teams before the Knicks, probably considering the fact that his minutes and his chances to win with the team might not be as great as the Knicks consider themselves to be. Gooden might not be a “sexy” name due to his inactivity last season, playing only 16 games for the Bucks as they didn’t really want him around the team, eventually using the amnesty clause on his contract.
But Gooden is younger (turning 32 in September), bigger than Martin and probably a more productive player than Martin is at the moment at both rebounding and scoring, if you erase what happened last season, which was more a case of the team simply not wanting to have anything to do with Gooden than actually being as bad as his numbers (3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game) tell.
While Gooden might not be a double-figure scoring player anymore, and certainly no one will give him 20-somethin’ minutes a night most likely, he can still contribute quite a lot in the right role, even playing some minutes in center, which he has done more and more over the last couple of seasons for the Bucks.
The funny thing? For the Knicks, that might actually be a young signing compared to their decision making on new players last season, having too many names on the league’s oldest players list. Gooden is going to be chased like Marcus Camby is, but eventually offers will come. In order to take advantage of his situation, a quick offer to Gooden might seal him with the team for next season without any waiting around like they have to do in Martin’s case.