Despite spending his rookie season in the NBA with the Lakers, Andrew Goudelock found himself let go after training camp this past fall. Starting off his sophomore campaign with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the D-League, the combo guard hit the ground running. Averaging over 20 points per content, Goudelock began to embrace the role of leading man, all the while propelling the Skyforce to a rather strong start to the season.
But that all suddenly changed when the former Lakers' guard served as the headliner for a three-team deal that shook up the minor league right in time for the Showcase. Goudelock was traded to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, all but less than a week ago.
He may have already been an early M.V.P. candidate, but the guard asserted that he's only further coming into his own as a new member of the Rockets' NBADL affiliate. He added, "The style of play here is definitely different. We play open. There's a lot of running, and if you see a good shot, you just take it. I think it fits my style of play a little bit better."
As fate would have it, Goudelock's statistics so far with RGV don't lie; they agree with him. Through his first three contests as a Viper, he has averaged a similar 20.7 points, but has done so in a much more efficient fashion. All his shooting percentages have improved all around thus far. The guard is shooting 49% from the field, 36% from deep, and a clutch 93% from the charity stripe.
There's no doubt that Goudelock can score the basketball. His display of talent so far in the minors only confirms that. With that said, there's another facet of his game he'd like to improve upon in the interest of earning a call-up soon. The guard said, "Everyone knows me for my scoring---my floaters. That won't change, because ultimately, that's what's going to get me money. But the biggest thing for me is expanding my playmaking abilities and defense, and just getting better at the point guard position."
As he joins the Vipers as part of the Rockets' organization, Goudelock joins a franchise that has proven to appreciate D-League talent to the fullest. In addition to actively assigning their existing prospects up and down on a frequent basis, Houston's brass has also pulled the trigger to pluck diamonds in the rough from the minors over the years.
Because of the welcoming attitude the Rockets have towards utilizing the D-League, Goudelock now sees more hope for the near future. He added, "Since I've gotten here, I've already talked to a couple of teams. That's exactly what I came down here for. But like you said, the Rockets do give us all hard looks. My agent and I have talked to them a couple of times, but you never know what'll happen or where you'll end. I just have to keep pushing for it and see what happens."
As he aims to continue improving his game in the meantime, however, the guard said playing with the Vipers' core of existing players is making that an easy thing to do. Goudelock said, "This is a better place for me. I have a lot of good talent around me, so it's almost like an NBA team that we have down here."
In addition to simply playing well, a player's situation has to be an ideal one for them to truly shine. Now donning a RGV Vipers' jersey, Goudelock can rest easy knowing he can continue letting his play do the talking as even more NBA executives take a closer look.