Andrew Goudelock joined the Lakers with just two games left in the regular… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
One of the season's bright stories, stemming from the team's darkest moment, was the Lakers' last-minute signing of guard Andrew Goudelock.
The Lakers were rocked when Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles' with just two games remaining in the regular season. Goudelock, who spent his rookie year with the Lakers but was cut in training camp, was called up from the D-League (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) to help the team finish out the season.
"I couldn't have pictured this going any better for me. I couldn't picture this happening at all," said Goudelock after his exit meeting on Monday.
When the team lost guard after guard (Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks), Goudelock ended up in the starting lineup at two-guard against the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs.
In two starts, Goudelock averaged 17 points a game on 44.1% shooting from the field. In Game 3 against the Spurs, he scored a career-high 20 points.
"I didn't know any of the plays," said Goudelock, originally the Lakers' 46th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. "It was a tough situation to put nine guys in -- that never played together at all."
The significantly shorthanded Lakers were swept by the Spurs in four games.
Goudelock's contract totals $17,934 for his brief stay with the team. If the Lakers want to make him a restricted-free agent, they will need to make him a qualifying offer in July for $1.08 million.
Despite a strong season in the D-League, earning the league's award for Most Valuable Player, Goudelock thought he just wasn't going to make it back to the NBA this season.
"Two weeks ago I didn't even think I was getting a call-up." he said. "I signed up to go to Puerto Rico to make some extra money. My mind was on that. It wasn't even on the NBA anymore because I felt like, all right, they just passed me over. This is how it is, I'll just do something else."
"It still sounds weird to me saying, 'Everybody gets hurt and then I start in the playoffs,'" continued Goudelock. "The experience that I gained from that was invaluable."
Through his rookie season, Goudelock averaged 4.4 points a game in 40 appearances while shooting 39.1% from the field.
If the Lakers don't make Goudelock restricted, they can look to sign for as little as the minimum at $884,293.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.