I saw Drew Gooden playing for the Washington Wizards in the NBA Playoffs. How long has he played there? How many teams has he played for? How many other KU players are still alive in the postseason?
At 32 years old, Gooden has officially reached NBA vagabond status.
The Wizards are the 10th NBA team he’s played for since being selected No. 4 overall in the 2002 NBA Draft coming out of Kansas. Gooden left Lawrence after three seasons coming off a consensus All-America selection and a Final Four appearance.
The Memphis Grizzlies moved Gooden to Orlando during his rookie season in a trade involving Mike Miller and a first-round pick.
A year later Gooden was traded to Cleveland in a deal that also brought Anderson Varejao to the Cavaliers. He had some of his best years with Cleveland, averaging 14.8 points and 10.7 rebounds and reaching the Finals in 2007.
In 2008, Gooden was moved again, this time to Chicago as part of a three-team blockbuster with the Cavs, Bulls and Sonics including Ben Wallace, Larry Hughes and Delonte West. Another season later he was shipped to Sacramento for Brad Miller and John Salmons.
He also played with the Spurs and Mavericks in the 2008-09 season. The next season Gooden was part of a trade from Dallas to Washington, but never played a game that season for the Wizards as he was traded four days later to the Clippers.
From 2010 until 2013 he played in a decreasingly smaller role for the Bucks, with whom he signed as a free agent in 2010.
Finally Gooden signed a 10-day contract with the Wizards in February of this year, after not playing since April, 2013. After another 10-day contract, he signed for the rest of the season, averaging 8.3 points in his 22 games played.
It’s not fair to say 12-point, 13-rebound effort against the Pacers in Washington’s second-round series Game 1 victory came out of nowhere, but somewhere pretty close to that.
Gooden is two teams shy of the NBA record for most franchises played for held by four players. Chucky Brown, Jim Jackson, Tony Massenburg and Joe Smith each played for 12 teams.
Even if Gooden doesn’t win a championship ring – probably a good bet, since the Wizards have only won a single second-round game since 1982 – there are a few Jayhawks who could, including Oklahoma City’s Nick Collison, who entered KU with Gooden in the fall of 1999.
Two-time NBA champion Mario Chalmers plays for the Heat, which is playing Paul Pierce and the Brooklyn Nets in a second-round series. Thomas Robinson comes off the bench for the Portland Trail Blazers.