Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
He may be close to an NBA return after spending his rookie campaign with the Lakers last season, but for now, Andrew Goudelock is a top prospect in the D-League, where he headlined a three-team deal on Thursday.
Despite having impressional enough rookie campaigns with their respective NBA teams last year, both Shelvin Mack and Andrew Goudelock found themselves let go, and subsequently thrust into D-League roles.
As fate would have it, Mack's solid efforts in the NBADL helped him earn a call-up back to The Association, coincidentally (or not so coincidentally) with the Wizards, with whom his rookie season was spent. As he continued to put up a dominant scoring display in similar fashion, perhaps Goudelock was hoping a promotion of his own was not too far off.
Though he entered Thursday ranked third in D-League scoring amongst active players who have appeared in at least ten games this season (with 20.8 points per contest), Goudelock's NBADL team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, apparently saw a better alternative to his efforts. The former Lakers' guard was the headliner of a three-team trade that will undoubtedly shake up the league a bit.
The high-volume and ever efficient guard was sent to the Rio Valley Grande Vipers, where he'll be paired alongside frequent Rockets' assignee rookie Scott Machado in his new team's backcourt. Houston has utilized its D-League squad so effectively over the years (including this current one), and recently also called-up James Anderson to the big league squad. Perhaps Goudelock will fill a replacement role, or perhaps he too is closer to a promotion than most think. Either way, playing with a playmaker like Machado will benefit him, just as playing with a formidable offensive weapon like himself will help Machado as a floor general.
In exchange for Goudelock, the Vipers shipped out Mike Singletary to Erie. The former Viper was averaging 13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds, all the while shooting 48% from the field (and 44% from deep) heading into the new year. He may have been playing well, but to get someone great, a solid talent was necessary to be parted with.
He, along with a future draft pick (via Sioux Falls) will be heading the BayHawks' way. Erie sent Mychel Thompson, who spent training camp with the Knicks, to the Skyforce. Thompson is one of the more fluent shooters in all of the D-League, able to sink three-point field goals with ease. Despite a strong showing with the Knicks this past fall, Thompson has struggled to hit his stride during his second season in Erie. As it stands now, acquiring Singletary may in fact be an upgrade for the squad.
But perhaps a change of scenery will rejuvenate Thompson after all. There's no doubt his sweet stroke could help a few NBA teams who like to position a wing along the wings, let alone the Skyforce. The kicker to this deal (at least for Sioux Falls) is that former Cavalier Donald Sloan will be coming to town with the former Pepperdine guard. Erie previously owned his rights.
Sloan began the season with Cleveland before being waived. Despite his release, Sloan is a gentleman who knows how to run the floor. It'll be interesting to see how he fits in playing with NBA veteran Troy Hudson. The former Cavs' playmaker make have been released due to his poor shooting touch these past few months in the NBA, but should he be able to regain his rhythm a bit in the D-League, both he and Thompson could make parting with a player of Goudelock's caliber worth the risk for the Skyforce. The former Laker may be on the cusp of a return to the NBA, but with a bit more time in a new city, both Thompson and Sloan could find themselves in similar boats.
It'll be interesting to see how each acquisition affects their respective new squads.