Ball Don't Lie - NBA

In an unbelievable move that really shouldn't be unbelievable to anyone who has followed the NBA for years, Adrian Wojnawroski is reporting that Drew Gooden(notes) has signed a five-year, $32 million dollar deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. Goodness, gracious, sakes alive.

There are so many ways to justify this, you must understand, and it's clear that Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond has taken advantage of each and every one of those ways in order to talk himself into putting pen to paper with Gooden (and his heavy-handed agent, Dan Fegan), but you'd be just fine in retching at this deal upon first glance.

Why? Because Gooden has played with five teams (and been the property of seven, including the Bucks) over the last 17 months. He's played for three other teams on top of that, and he's infuriated just about every coach he's had along the way — including current Bucks assistant coach Jim Boylan, who coached Gooden in Chicago.

Drew breaks plays, he's caught with his head turned on defense more than just about any NBA big man I can think of, and he takes bad shots.

Oh, and he also scores at a good clip, shoots a good percentage, rebounds well, and generally is a pretty nice guy who seems legitimately upset when he mucks things up a bit.

A little under 11 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes per game over his career. While having to learn under 10 different coaches and all sorts of playbooks. And at age 29, 11 and eight in under 30 minutes per game is, once paired with that iffy defense, average. Maybe a little above average. And a little over six million a year? That's an average deal. They signed an average player to an average deal.

The length? Yeah, I can understand why you'd think that five years might be a bit much. It is a bit much. It's probably way too much, and the Bucks may have been able to pull this off for three years instead of five. But, as I've mentioned for years with these sorts of signings, this is a tradeable contract.

Not because he's Drew Gooden, but because this is an average contract. It matches well with other deals, other teams will be able to talk themselves into trading for Drew with his obvious talent, and you should actually be surprised if Gooden isn't traded two or three or even four times between now and 2015 when the contract expires.

So, wretch away. I understand. I have no idea why Hammond had to lock Gooden in for so long, but this isn't anywhere near signing a near-average (just a bit ahead, in fact) guy like Hedo Turkoglu(notes) up for twice the amount. It looks pretty nasty on paper, but Gooden will be fine, as will the Bucks. The Bucks need offense, badly, and Gooden can put the ball in the hole once the play breaks down. I think this can work.

See? I can be cheery.

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