Every piece matters when attempting to put together a championship roster, and the Los Angeles Lakers would be unwise to let go of Andrew Goudelock.
The Los Angeles Times’ Mike Bresnahan reported that the Lakers are considering leaving a roster spot open and entering the year with just 14 players and notes that, “Andrew Goudelock and Darius Johnson-Odom haven't received much playing time in exhibition play and are long shots to make the roster.”
Admittedly, not every player on the squad matters equally, and it is highly unlikely that Goudelock will be the difference between winning a title and a disappointing season, but he is a streaky shooter capable of providing valuable minutes off the bench throughout the season.
The second-year guard out of Charleston averaged 4.4 points for game last year and shot 37 percent from behind the three-point line. These are not exciting numbers, but he certainly flashed the talent to be a potent scorer.
In his senior season, Goudelock placed fifth in the nation with 23.4 points per game and shot over 40 percent from behind the line.
In limited minutes with the Lakers last season, Goudelock unsurprisingly took time to adjust to the speed of the NBA game.
His potential was evident in a seven-game stretch in which he received at least 15 minutes of playing time in each contest. He scored at least 12 points in four the first five of these games and went 8-of-16 from three-point range during all seven outings.
What should the Lakers do with their final roster spot?
Again, Goudelock is not the next Ray Allen, but the Lakers could use his offensive talents to add backcourt depth.
Behind Kobe Bryant, the Lakers would only have Jodie Meeks to play shooting guard. Bryant is 34 years old, and head coach Mike Brown should seriously consider scaling back his playing time from the 38.5 minutes per game he played last season.
This opens the door for Goudelock to occasionally come off the end of the bench and hit a few shots.
If he has a run of games like he did in December and January of last season, it could be a contributing factor in winning a few extra games this year. In a talented Western Conference, these wins could be crucial when it comes to playoff seeding.
Goudelock is a talented scorer who can be a dangerous shooter as a backup. When it comes down to keeping him or having an extra roster spot, the Lakers would certainly be better off with him as an option off the bench.