2011 NBA Draft: Andrew Goudelock And The Ever-Changing Market

Sometimes you get lucky and the Twitter universe tosses you up a gem. 

This is one of those cases.

I was curious as to what the latest chatter was surrounding Charleston's Andrew Goudelock as far as his preparation for the NBA Draft and I found these comments listed back-to-back.

Goudelock_tweets_medium

That my friends is about as perfect of a microcosm of Goudelock's stock as one could ever hope for. He presents intrigue, he creates more questions than answers and he could seemingly be a nice addition for the Boston Celtics, but there are almost as many detractors as there are supporters as evidenced by Mr. Seth Davis. So what do we know?

We know Goudelock was a prolific scorer in college and we know he was extremely efficient in certain areas. As Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn pointed out yesterday, scoring efficiency can be (key word there is can), a good indicator of how an individual will translate to the NBA when factoring in other traits such as size and athleticism. Yet for all of the fuss that Winn made about Charles Jenkins being remarkably efficient in isolation and spot-up scenarios (rightfully so), he fails to even include Goudelock in his chart depicting the supposed elite shooting guards in the draft. 

Just as some food for thought, consider that Goudelock iso'd 25% of the time (3rd amongst those listed) and had a scoring efficiency of 1.057, which trailed only Jenkins and Boston College's Reggie Jackson. As a spot-up shooter he had a slightly lower usage rate than most, at just 12.1%, but his scoring efficiency of 1.343 trailed only Jenkins and Jimmer Fredette - and not by all that much.

Is this to say that the Charleston scoring machine is as good of a pro prospect as Jenkins or Fredette? No. We know how good Fredette is and can be, while Jenkins is superior physically while also proving to be slightly more efficient at this point. Those factors alone will have them ranked much higher on NBA draft boards. But for Davis to say Goudelock will not transfer well to the NBA might be just a bit premature.

Going solely based off Synergy footage will give you a good feel for Goudelock as a player, but not how he will translate to the NBA. The combo-guard was Charleston's offense, there were no other options, so naturally it will come across that he lacks the ability to create offense for others. However, those who attended the Portsmouth Invitational know that Goudelock surprised many in attendance with the manner in which he ran the offense for his team. 

Despite his scoring prowess, Goudelock started each game in Portsmouth looking to get his teammates involved. While most of his value resides in his ability to make shots, he looked solid at the point guard position when he was looking to defer. He's a sound passer, but doesn't have the terrific footspeed that would allow him to turn the corner regularly enough to draw additional defenders.

Via Matt Kamalsky, DraftExpress

That last sentence is key, because Goudelock often presents what I like to call a "yes, but" package as a player. Yes, he can shoot the lights out, but can he create his own shot against NBA defenders? Yes, he can facilitate the offense, but is he quick enough to put the defense on its heels? He isn't a physical specimen by any means, standing 6-foot-1 with a 6-foot-4 wingspan and modest quickness. Still, he has the skill set and the basketball IQ that he certainly compensates for these shortcomings offensively, defense is another beast all together. He will need to improve here drastically and constantly be dialed in at this end of the floor to keep from being a liability. 

Still, he is considered a pro by almost all of the reputable draft services out there, currently sitting firmly in the second round in most mock drafts. So why is Boston at No. 25 suddenly even being talked about as a possibility? Because in the right system, Goudelock could be a valuable contributor. Boston could be that system.

Currently, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Avery Bradley are the only guards guaranteed to be on the Celtics roster next season. Delonte West could likely be brought back, but Boston probably isn't looking to shell out too much for him. Carlos Arroyo was also on the point guard depth chart along with Rondo and Bradley, but he could be gone as well. Goudelock could be added to the backcourt rotation as a multi-position option, in many ways, serving as a poor mans West, capable of running the point for spurts while also providing a perimeter scoring threat. He wouldn't need to facilitate offense beyond spelling Rondo for brief periods, while also providing the option to move him off the ball alongside Rondo to give the team another three-point shooter.

Late first round picks can be very tricky to manage. Often they carry the same level of available talent as a second round selection, but with the added weight of a guaranteed contract. This is at least a two-year commitment. There are two schools of thought in this scenario: draft for need, or take a risk. It's easy to argue that Boston has more pressing needs in their frontcourt, thus making a high-risk, high-reward player like Jeremy Tyler a possibility. But Goudelock's skill set as a serviceable back-up point guard and a three-point threat could make him a solid addition to an NBA roster, along the lines of a C.J. Watson.

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