Can Drew Gooden be the player Spurs fans have coveted?

By now, you’ve likely heard the news. With Mikki Moore gone to Boston and Joe Smith likely headed to Cleveland, the Spurs are clear frontrunners to land seven-year journeyman Drew Gooden.

They can’t make it official until he clears waivers later today, but does the Gooden signing give the Spurs a better chance to win a title, and is he the perfect compliment to Tim Duncan the Spurs have wanted since David Robinson retired.
We’ve been through Rasho, Nazr, Francisco, drafted Ian Mahinmi and then there’s our current stopgap crew of Matt Bonner, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto.
Sure, Drew Gooden is no Marcus Camby, but maybe we’ve been looking in the wrong direction for far too long. We already have an all-star center in Tim Duncan, so maybe the Spurs should have been targeting power forwards instead of looking for the next Robinson.
Duncan is introduced as our power forward and he is listed as a power forward in starting lineup graphics, but in reality, he’s been our center since Robinson retired.
I’m sure I’ll get more than a few comments and some ribbing from my Spurscast co-host about “hyping” Drew Gooden, but Gooden doesn’t have to be an all-star for the Spurs to succeed or for the Spurs to finally have a strong 4-5 tandem.
Gooden may have been waived by the cost-cutting Kings, even though they just overpaid an unproven former Spurs guard this summer, but he’s got plenty to offer.
Since he’s entered the league with Memphis in 2002, the 6-10 forward has been a double-digit  scorer and he has consistently averaged 8 to 10 rebounds a game. He may not be a shot blocking machine, averaging a career best 1.3 a game in 2007-08, but that’s why we have Duncan.
If that’s not convincing enough, Gooden seems to fit in perfectly with the Spurs, who are one of the most active NBA teams in their community.
Taking a few notes from his NBA profile and wikipedia page, the former Big 12 player of the year was named one of the “Good Guys in Sports” by the Sporting News. He also opened the Drew Gooden Reading and Learning Center in Cleveland, won the NBA Community Assist Award in 2005 and was named the 2006 Al Lerner Community Service Award winner at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards.
What more can Spurs fans ask for than a consistent double-double performer who goes above and beyond to give back to the community.
Oh, did I mention he’s under 30?

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.

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