Centers of Attention

If Tyson Chandler must be traded, and it must be during the offseason, the rumored deal with the Detroit Pistons (Jason Maxiell and Kwame Brown for Chandler) is probably the most palatable arrangement available, as noted by jdpourciau (this FanPost, my first, began life as a comment on jdpourciau's work - thanks for the inspiration).

However, while this trade would shore up the PF position for the next few years, we would have two expiring contracts as our only options at the 5, and both are probably back-up caliber at best. The solution?

As I've been putting forward to anyone who will listen, I think the Hornets should acquire Drew Gooden. A free-agent who can play PF or C (and actually had comparable-to-better numbers at the 5 last year, though there could be some extenuating circumstances behind that), Gooden would be a good short-term or long-term addition to the team's frontcourt. While he's only 6'10" and offensively-oriented, he can rebound, hit free throws and generally contribute at a consistent rate. His health can be an issue, but that's also true of Chandler, as well as just about every other big man in the league, to one degree or another. Depending on the deal, we could probably get Gooden for a reasonable sum of money while avoiding hamstringing ourselves for the future, particularly as it pertains to 2010.

In a post after the draft addressing our potential free-agent targets vis-a-vis the back-up frontcourt, our esteemed webmaster listed Gooden as someone we should give a look.

Ever since he left the company of the [Cavaliers], Gooden's been looking on the up and up. Rebounding last year? Try 10.4/22.6/16.6. 52.6% true shooting. 11.7% turnovers. 4.0 FTA/36 minutes.

Additionally, this assessment defined our chances at getting the former Finals starter as "actually reasonable" and went on to call Gooden a "very good option." High praise indeed.

If the front office signs no other free agent this offseason (and again, if they must trade TC before the season begins), I think Gooden should be put before names like Pargo, Bass and some of the other potential additions our team has been linked to. If Bower hasn't yet given his agent a call, perhaps this will bring the Kansas product to his attention.

Potential Depth Chart:
PG: Paul/Collison
SG: Butler/Peterson/Thornton
SF: Stojakovic/Posey/Wright
PF: West/Maxiell(/Marks?)
C: Gooden/Armstrong/Brown