LA Lakers: Andrew Goudelock Raising Questions for Lakers at Summer League

William Van NollFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Andrew Goudelock #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a jumper against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on February 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

While Laker Nation awaits news on the Dwight Howard to LA front, there is an apparent role reversal unfolding in the Los Angeles Lakers' backcourt this summer.

After working his way into Mike Brown's rotation (albeit sparingly) last season, second-year player Andrew Goudelock is still searching for his luster in Summer League play and is falling back on the progress he made during his first year in the league.

Meanwhile, Darius Morris—a player who wasn't activated on most game nights for the Lakers last year—has shown notable improvement and has been LA's leading scorer during their summer campaign.

The two second-year players look to be slowly switching places of prominence within the Lakers' pecking order, and attitude may have something to do with it.

ESPN's Dave McMenamin was embedded on the Lakers' bench during the team's 50-point blowout loss to the Miami Heat's Summer League squad on Monday and notes an in-game exchange between Goudelock and his coaches:

Goudelock is told [by coaches Chuck Person and Darvin Ham] to be patient on offense and pleads back to the bench, "It was an open shot!"

Ham shakes his head and says to Person, "Does he know how long we've been involved in this league?"

Andrew Goudelock has been underwhelming in Summer League play, averaging 9.3 points and 0.3 assists in four games on an abysmal 28.3 field-goal percentage.

He's been settling for long three-pointers instead of attacking the basket or going to his trademark tear drop in the lane, much to the frustration of the Lakers' coaching staff.

Darius Morris, on the other hand, has been able to get to the lane almost at will and has been setting up his teammates for easy shots. Morris leads the team with 16.3 points and three assists per game. 

For Goudelock—the College of Charleston's all-time leading scorer—it's not a matter of skill, but of effort.

Per McMenamin, Coach Person told the rest of the coaching staff Goudelock looked "fat" after not hustling back on defense, with player development coach Phil Handy adding that he'll work him into shape.

By contrast, in his piece, McMenamin writes of Morris' "chiseled frame" after putting on 27 pounds of muscle since coming into the league under strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco.

To be sure, Summer League is not as significant as training camp will be for these two young players.

Instead of practicing with international call-ups and D-League prospects, Morris and Goudelock will be learning plays with future Hall of Famers and NBA veterans later this year.

But after four games into Summer League, it's evident Goudelock has lost last season's groove while Morris is creating one of his own.

If Goudelock can't separate himself from amateur basketball players in Las Vegas this summer, it might raise questions on his ability to do so in the pros.

He may only have a few games left in Summer League, but Goudelock will have plenty of time to work on his conditioning before training camp begins to recapture the long-range and tear-drop magic we saw last season.