Despite a highly successful career as a power forward at Providence College in the Big East Conference, the 6'7" Gomes fell in the 2005 NBA Draft to the late second round. His size and abilities did not fit scouts' prototypical image of either a power forward or a small forward. Celtics' director of basketball operations Danny Ainge, however, felt that Gomes' track record and work ethic were enough to take a chance on the local product with the 50th pick overall.
Wearing number 4, Gomes was expected to play off the bench in his rookie season spelling Celtics star Paul Pierce. His playing time and statistical impact were limited early in the season. However, on January 26, 2006, the Celtics executed a multiplayer trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves that freed up roster space for Gomes to play. Soon after that, fellow Celtic Kendrick Perkins was injured and Gomes was inserted in the starting line-up.
Since becoming a starter, Gomes has excelled, and kept his job even after Perkins returned. On February 24, 2006 he had 17 rebounds and 13 points, and on March 7-8 he had a remarkable two game output, collecting 20 rebounds, dishing 8 assists and scoring 56 points against the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers. As of April 14, 2006, Gomes has scored at least 10 points in 18 of the 29 games he has started, and in 7 of those games he also had at least 10 rebounds, known as a double-double.
The second half of his rookie season has been an impressive success for Gomes. Besides scoring, Gomes hustles relentlessly, and Celtics television color commentary man Tommy Heinsohn describes Gomes as the best offensive rebounder on the Celtics' roster. Despite his relatively small size, Gomes positions himself well on the court to rebound, and uses his hands well for easy put-back buckets and lay-ups. Many NBA teams are still wary of his ability to shoot jump shots and he is occasionally left open while other Celtics are being double-teamed. As his career progresses, it remains to be seen whether teams will adjust to Gomes style and retard his output.