Every year at draft time and during pre season we focus on the top ranked picks, the best prospects, the hottest shooters and the heart wrenching stories but rarely do we focus on the players that do it the hard way, undrafted players or the players begging for a second or third or fourth chance. This is one of those stories.
When we think of the 2011 NBA draft we think of Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, The Fro from the Knicks (Shumpert) and the steals of Faried and Jimmy Butler, but rarely do we think about those late picks who don’t get guaranteed money. One of them is making inroads into finally getting some guaranteed money in the NBA.
That man is Andrew Goudelock. Now Lakers fans will remember him and and a lot of NBA fans will purely remember he was the man who replaced Kobe in last years playoffs but he is now plying his trade on the Bulls summer league roster and is certainly making some waves in Vegas on the court. The back story for Goudelock is one that many young aspiring basketballers go through on the quest to live their dream, he was named Southern conference player of the year in 2011, he was the 4th highest scorer in NCAA division 1 and was looking to make a splash in the big time. He was drafted by one of the proudest franchises in the league the LA Lakers at pick 46 and while his first year was up and down, things were looking positive. He was re assigned to the Lakers D league club only to be called up again a day later due to a Steve Blake injury and then he spent the rest of the year as a back up guard and averaged 4.5 points in 10.5 minutes per game, but this is where things got tough.
He was then waived in October by the Lakers before being drafted by the Sky Force in the NBA D League and then was involved in a trade where he ended up at the Rio Grande Vipers. Now the D League is not everyone’s cup of tea, low wages, lots of travelling but it can provide you with a road back to the big time and that’s the way Goudelock viewed it, while he had tough times including borrowing money from his partner to pay for expenses he also played some great basketball capping off the year with a call up to replace Kobe Bryant in the playoffs for the Lakers and also winning the D League MVP.
Now we fast forward to July in Vegas where players he played against in the play offs are spending there time getting ready working out for the upcoming season or travelling the world for promo work but that’s certainly not the case for the uncontracted and Goudelock is still one of them, he has found a way onto the Bulls summer league roster and is taking it all in his stride, in his three games he has been the most accomplished bulls player scoring 31 points (10-13 shooting), 26 points (9-15 shooting) and 11 points today and has helped the Bulls to a 3-0 start, now he has always been a confident shooter as an ESPN reporter found out after being drafted “I am going to score wherever I am, whatever level I am on, because that’s my game” or when he told a reporter “I am going to be able to shoot until I die” but I think he has improved, he is showing he is a decent option as a under sized guard and he is proving not that he should be on a roster but that he HAS to be. This is doing things the hard way and if Andrew Goudelock does get a guaranteed contract in the NBA next year one thing is for certain, he deserves it!