As we creep up to the start of training camp and the beginning of a regular season filled with high expectations for the Lakers, the final roster is reaching its final edit. This off-season has been quite a whirlwind for the Lakers, especially compared to the last couple of summers, where only little tweaks to the roster were made by management. The starting lineup for the purple and gold is the strongest starting five in the league, with all probability. Additionally, the bench is much improved compared to last year, as evidenced by Lakers Nation’s Suki Thind’s analysis of the team’s depth this season.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the possibilities of this year’s draft picks by the Lakers – Robert Sacre and Darius Johnson-Odom, and how they would fit into the Lakers roster, if signed. As of today, the Lakers have not signed either of these two players, and with roster spots just about filled, the fate of the 2011 Lakers draft picks, Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock, may be in question. Specifically, let’s take a look at what Goudelock’s future in purple and gold could be.
Andrew Goudelock came into last season from the College of Charleston expecting to remain at his natural position of shooting guard. Goudelock saw some pretty decent minutes for a good part of the shortened 2011-12 season for a rookie. Remember, the Lakers have a tendency of not using the vast majority of their draft picks, which is one of the downsides for consistently having a solid starting five. However, Mike Brown seemed to be searching for a rotation to click last season, and that is when Goudelock got his chance. His chance would also come as a point guard.
Goudelock had glimpses of true promise, particularly at the three-point line and with his sort of tear-drop shot, which was nicknamed the Glock-Drop. He did see some time at his natural position of shooting guard, but showed more potential at the point, especially for his size. However, just as fast as he was inserted into the rotation, his minutes and production declined as well. As the regular season began its final stage, Goudelock’s presence on the court practically vanished.
Overall, Goudelock finished with the following numbers.
2011-12 Regular Season Averages (Post-season in Bold)
- Point per game: 4.4 — 1.3
- Assists per game: 0.5 — 0.0
- Minutes per game: 10.5 (40 games) — 2.5 (4 games)
- Three-point %: 37.3 — 100 (only 1 attempt)
To remain a Laker, Goudelock will have to show definite improvement on his defense, ball handling and point guard skills. One of the most important changes he needs to make in order to improve in these areas is his weight. He weighed 215 lbs. at the end of last season and went into the Summer League weighing 203. His goal is to weigh 195 by the time training camp rolls around. He is continually working with Lakers strength and conditioning coach Tom DiFrancesco to become stronger for defensive purposes, but at the same time getting fit to be able to improve his athleticism, explosiveness and point guard skills.
“[Losing weight will] make me a litlte bit quicker and it’ll make me a little bit more explosive. I haven’t dunked in a long time because my legs didn’t feel up to it. But all of that has to do with what I’m eating and getting that extra weight off of me so I can move up a little bit faster and quicker.”
With all that said, Goudelock had a passive Summer League in Las Vegas a couple of months ago, as he struggled with his accuracy. When you think about it, he should have had the best performance among his teammates since he had the most on-court season experience of the players who everyone was paying the most attention to on the Lakers (Darius Morris, Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre). Below are his stats from this year’s Summer League.
- Points per game- 9.8
- Rebounds per game- 1.6
- FG %- 31.6
- 3-Point %- 23.8
It should also be noted that Goudelock’s $473,604 contract is not guaranteed as the Lakers hold an option on his contract. The team may be inclined to exercise that option in order to make room and sign draft pick Darius Johnson-Odom. DJO has great athleticism, is already more skilled defensively than Goudelock and seems to have higher potential than Goudelock. Also, the current roster is pretty much stocked with point guards with Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Chris Duhon and Darius Morris.
It is crazy what one off-season can represent to a team. Not only do the Lakers have the best starting lineup in the NBA, but the bench, who consistently struggled throughout last season, is now more balanced loaded as well.
In case you missed it – our interview with the new Time Warner Cable Sports staff!