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Category: Andrew Goudelock

Players union vows in letter not to back down

David Stern

--Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix obtained a letter Players Assn. President Derek Fisher and executive director Billy Hunter wrote to union members where it states it's going to hold its ground during negotiations.

--The Times' Ben Bolchreports that Lakers rookies Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock have maintained the tight-budget lifestyle they had in college because of the NBA lockout.

--ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussardreports that top-level agents have backed away from pushing the union to decertify.

--Ball Don't Lie's Dan Devine features a funny photo of Hunter and Kobe Bryant. Clearly, Kobe doesn't look too optimistic about both sides reaching a deal any time soon.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky talk to Grantland's Jonathan Abrams about his recent story on Jerry West.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne argues that Lakers owner Jerry Buss' openness toward revenue sharing isn't the final hand he's dealing.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano maintains optimism regarding the NBA lockout.

Tweet of the Day: "I'll be shocked if David Stern and Billy Hunter don't meet between now and Sunday night. Only question is if we'll find out where." -- RicBucher (ESPN the Magazine's Ric Bucher)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "Billionaires flexing their dollars to wear down unions. Its happening all over the country. Billionaires buying publicity and politicians and publicity to wear down the public support for unions is also happening all over the country, although not in this particular case." -- Joe Gallagher

--Mark Medina

Photo: NBA Commissioner David Stern says the first two weeks of the regular season could be scrapped if a labor agreement is not reached soon. Credit: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images / October 4, 2011)

Andrew Goudelock won't go overseas without opt-out clause [Video]

Despite fielding eight official offers to play for various teams overseas for a six-figure salary, Lakers rookie guard Andrew Goudelock won't accept any offer that doesn't have an opt-out clause, his agent, Austin Walton, said Sunday evening in a phone interview.

"Those are the only ones we’d consider," said Walton, who represents Goudelock through Walton Sports Management Group.

An opt-out clause would allow Goudelock to return to the NBA should the current lockout stop in time for a full or shortened 2011-12 season. Walton said three of those offers had opt-out clauses, including from CB Lucentum Alicante of the Spanish professional basketball league Liga ACB [link in Spanish] and from the Skyliners Frankfurt of Germany's Basketball Bundesliga [link in German], which recently signed Milwaukee Bucks second-round pick Jon Leur.

But even that provision won't guarantee Goudelock will play overseas, considering Walton's revelation that Goudelock remains more consumed with finishing his sociology degree at the College of Charleston first.

"Drew’s focus is training," Walton said, "becoming the best player he can be and finishing his degree." 

Per FIBA rules, NBA players under contract can play in overseas leagues as long as they return to the NBA once the lockout ends. But that doesn't apply to Goudelock because the Lakers haven't signed him after selecting him with the 46th pick of the NBA draft. Although Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak didn't commit to keeping him after the draft, Goudelock's 40.7% mark from three-point range in his senior season suggests he could bolster the Lakers' 35.2% average from last season.

Signing to a team without an opt-out clause -- much like former Lakers reserve Trey Johnson did this month with Teramo Basket of the Italian League -- would prevent Goudelock from joining the Lakers or any other NBA team should at least part of the upcoming season be played.

"At this point, we haven’t made a decision," Walton said. "We haven't ruled out [playing overseas]."

RELATED: 

NBA Draft: Andrew Goudelock joins Lakers with plenty of confidence

Lakers introduce second-round draft picks

Lakers going after point guards in second-round draft picks

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

NBA lockout: Which Lakers will spend their time wisely?

Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom

For all the concern that the NBA lockout might eat into all or part of the 2011-2012 NBA season, it'd be misguided for players to think that's simply extended vacation time.

Sure, it might prompt them to rest more, tap into more endorsement opportunities or engage in the cliched exercise this off-season by "remaining open to playing overseas." But the smart NBA players will remain prepared just in case the season starts on time. That naturally leads to questions of who on the Lakers will be ready for that scenario. Click below the jump to find out.

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How can the Lakers upgrade at point guard?

6a00d8341c506253ef014e89569edb970d-320wiThe consensus on how to make the Lakers better next season involves addressing the point guard spot.

Former Coach Phil Jackson suggested it in his final exit interview when he said the Lakers need to add "more speed" to their veteran-laden roster. Former Laker Robert Horry clamored for it when he acknowledged at the ESPYs that Derek Fisher's "age has caught up to him." And team General Manager Mitch Kupchak has tabbed the position as the off-season's No. 1 priority.

But as we all found out growing up, just because you put something on a holiday or birthday wish list didn't always mean our parents listened. Likewise, just because we want to buy a beach house, drive a sleek convertible or take an extended vacation around the world doesn't mean it's going to happen.

On the Lakers' end, they face plenty of constraints. No one knows what the next collective bargaining agreement will look like and how much the Lakers can draw from their mid-level exception. They are coming off a season that featured a $91-million payroll, and their core players are locked into long-term contracts. In other words, the Lakers aren't going to be able to add an All-Star point guard at the flip of a switch. But here are some options on how they can address their point guard needs.

6a00d8341c506253ef014e611163e9970c-800wiSave up for Deron Williams or Chris Paul.

As most Laker fans have noticed when consulting these various free-agent profiles, the options are pretty limited. So as much as it's necessary for the Lakers to address their point guard needs, it's  unrealistic to expect them to suddenly bolster it. Instead, the Lakers would be better off working with what they have and then gear up for when Williams and Paul become free agents after the 2011-2012 season, presuming neither sign extensions with their current teams. Both players are starved for a championship. Both show elite point-guard skills. And both have much respect for Kobe Bryant.

This approach won't solve the Lakers' problems right away and could keep the team from winning a title next season. But making a push for a trade or a free agent this year might do more harm than good. It would require the Lakers to give away some of their resources for a short-term gain at the expense of a long-term investment. Any slight upgrade at point guard this year still may not result in an NBA title, and it would give the Lakers less positioning power to go after Williams or Paul next off-season. Because of how highly coveted they are and the salary Williams ($16.4 million) and Paul ($16.359 million) would command for next season, the Lakers would have to be tight with their finances this year.

It would be shortsighted, however, for the Lakers to simply unload salaries much like the New York Knicks did in making an unsuccessful attempt at LeBron James, because it would put them in a weaker position to win a title in the future. Andrew Bynum will have a team option in 2012-2013 for $16.1 million, but I highly doubt the Lakers would let him go unless they could get Dwight Howard. Lamar Odom enters next season with two years and $17 million left on his contract, including a team option in the 2012-2013 season worth a partially guaranteed $8.2 million, giving the team some possible wiggle room there. But other than those two scenarios, the Lakers would have to make small tinkerings to ensure they're financially in a position to get either Howard or Paul.

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How will the Lakers' bench perform under Mike Brown?

Mike Brown

The questions surrounding the Mike Brown hire centers on a few fundamental questions.

First and foremost, there's hand-wringing over whether he's the right man to coach the Lakers. Fueled partly by Kobe Bryant's refusal to comment on the hire and by the widely held perception that the Cavaliers fired him in 2010 to appease LeBron James, many wonder how Brown will work with the Lakers' superstar.

Because of Brown's hope to have a faster-paced offense and mostly scrap the triangle system, many believe that Derek Fisher will have a reduced role. And with Brown's hope to have an offense centered on Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum receiving looks off pick-and-rolls, many wonder how that philosophy will mix with Brown wanting to still ensure Bryant receives a high volume of shots in his sweet spots. 

There's also one significant area that will determine Mike Brown's success on the Lakers, the team's bench. It's difficult to fully evaluate this issue because the Lakers' roster might be different when the 2011-12 season actually starts, if it starts at all. In light of an uncertain collective bargaining agreement and the Lakers' long-term deals to their core roster, both owner Jerry Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak have continuously said they want to make "tweaks" to the roster, a code word that acknowledges the Lakers' financial limitations and the likelihood that any changes will be made among the reserves rather than the starters.

And there's some uncertainty regarding who from the 2010-11 Lakers bench will return, including Lamar Odom (whose two-year, $17-million contract is an attractive option for other teams), Shannon Brown (who opted out of his $2.37-million contract), Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks (both of whom have team options for $788,872) and rookies Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock and Ater Majok (each of which has received no guarantee from Kupchak that he will make the actual roster). 

After the jump is my take on which of the Lakers reserves are likely to remain on the team and how they will fare under Brown. 

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NBA lockout: Looking at how the players plan to spend their off-season

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If a week felt like an eternity, try six months or maybe even a year.

It's unclear how long this NBA lockout is going to last. But it's safe to go on that vacation or run that errand without worrying about what team acquired who during free agency. But that doesn't mean things aren't busy. There's plenty of discussion brewing already on whether NBA players, including Kobe Bryant, should take their talents overseas during a possibly prolonged lockout. As detailed below, it's obvious many of the Lakers have plenty to occupy their time during a long off-season.

Kobe Bryant: It seems like every single day he’s in the news. Of course, that’s understandable given he’s Kobe Bryant. But it’s also a reflection of how busy his off-season has already become. The Times’ Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner reported that Bryant underwent a derivation of platelet rich plasma therapy (PSP), a controversial procedure that entails centrifuging the patient's blood to isolate platelets and growth factors and then then injected them into an injured area to accelerate healing. Bryant announced an initiative with his foundation to fight homelessness. And Bryant, as reported by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, remains open to playing overseas this summer. The possibilities entail joining a barnstorming tour where some of Rob Pelinka’s clients play exhibition games in China, while Turkish club, Besiktas, hopes Bryant will follow Deron Williams’ lead and join the team.

Pau Gasol: He’s spending his off-season in his native Spain where he spent the first portion of the off-season resting and mentally removing himself from a frustrating 2011 playoff performance. But he’s not going to spend the off-season resting like he did last year. Gasol plans to play in the European Championships in Lithuania from Aug. 31 to Sept. 18, partly to immediately rectify the poor playoff showing.

Andrew Bynum: For once, Bynum can enjoy a summer being completely injury-free. So after a short week of vacation in England where he enjoyed the Manchester United-Barcelona Champions league game, Bynum immediately began training in hopes to improve his footwork and reading double teams. Part of that effort has entailed taking boxing lessons to improve his agility and quickness. 

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Lakers introduce second-round draft picks

All three of the Lakers' second-round draft picks played in a scrimmage Tuesday at the team's practice facility against other NBA free agents, giving the threesome a chance to perform in front of Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak and new coach Mike Brown.

After the scrimmage, guards Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock and forward Ater Majok were introduced to the media, all of them saying how happy they were to be with the Lakers.

Morris, a local product from Windward High in Los Angeles, was taken with the 41st pick by the Lakers out of Michigan.

"There is a great opportunity here for me,' said Morris, a 6-4 point guard. "I'm just ready to capitalize on it."

Goudelock was taken with the 46th pick out of the College of Charleston.

He's a 6-3 combo gaurd, meaning he has the skills to play point and shooting guard.

"I look forward to the opportunity," Goudelock said.

Majok was taken with the 58th pick.

Majok, listed at 6-10, is from Sudan and abruptly left the University of Connecticut last September. He averaged 2.3 points and three rebounds in 26 games with the Huskies before leaving after one season to play professionally in Turkey and Australia.

-- Broderick Turner

Photo: Darius Morris, left, Ater Major and Andrew Goudelock. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press

Assigning Buddhism-related names to Lakers roster

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In nearly two months, Lakers forward Ron Artest will officially find out whether he can legally change his name to Metta World Peace.

He filled out papers Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court requesting the name change, citing "personal reasons." It remains uncertain if Laker fans would throw away Artest jerseys in favor of a "World Peace" one. In addition to the ongoing question of what name Artest will actually choose to have on the back of his jersey, the L.A. County Superior Court has to approve the name change, which Artest won't know until Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. 

Metta, a Buddhist term, is defined as a "strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others," which certainly jives with Artest's advocacy for mental health charities. Should other teammates feel compelled to follow suit and request Buddhist-inspired names (probably not), there's no need to brainstorm ideas. I already consulted this website and did it for them. Below the jump are the results and a possible explanation for each name. 

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Lakers stay busy during the offseason

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--The Times' Mike Bresnahan analyzes the chances of each current Laker returning next season.

--The Times' Chris Dufresne details how the Lakers became the marquee Los Angeles sports franchise over the Dodgers. Dufresne also ranks the L.A. sports teams, with the Lakers, of course, finishing first.

--Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick gives the Lakers a "B" for their draft picks. 

--ESPN.com's Viv Bernstein believes Ron Artest wants to legally change his name to promote his upcoming reality show.

--The Journal Register News' David Borges explains what interested the Lakers in Ater Majok.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding looks at 10 things Derek Fisher could've done better to ensure a Lakers' three-peat.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer hopes the Los Angeles Superior Court will approve Artest's request to have his name changed to "Metta World Peace." Dwyer also gives the Lakers a "B" for their draft picks. 

--Fox Sports gives the Lakers an "A-" for their draft picks. 

--The Daily News' Tom Hoffarth muses about Artest's name change.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky as well as Dave McMenamin talk about the Lakers' draft picks and Artest's name change.

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears argues Darius Morris left University of Michigan too early. 

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell sums up the Lakers' 2011 NBA draft. 

--The Orange County Register's Randy Youngman lists a few other sports figures who should change their names. 

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore provides details on the Lakers' future second-round pick they acquired by trading Chukwudiebere Maduabum to the Denver Nuggets. 

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano looks at what Morris might provide for the Lakers. 

--Lakers Nation's Elizabeth Benson lists five things Shannon Brown needs to improve on to help the Lakers. 

Tweet of the Day: "I'll be the king of LA one day" -- RebuildCaracter (Lakers backup center Derrick Caracter obviously having a delusional moment)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "Did anyone besides me see this guy shooting 3's in the NIT championship? I've never seen a player spot up from 5 ft over half court and drain shots like that! His range as a shooter is crazy. If players have to defend him from there it opens the court for Kobe! Good pick!" -- Victor Jesus on the Lakers selecting Andrew Goudelock.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers veterans Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant  and Pau Gasol  won two NBA championships together but could not pull off the three-peat this last season. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

NBA Draft: Andrew Goudelock joins Lakers with plenty of confidence

Andrew Goudelock hasn't yet put on a Lakers uniform after his No. 46 pick in the 2011 NBA draft, but it already seems the jersey fits.

He hasn't yet stepped foot in Los Angeles, but it already seems this city will embrace him. It remains unclear how much he'll affect the Lakers, let alone whether he'll make the roster cut, but it already seems there will be space for him.

His booming and articulate voice coming out of a speakerphone conveyed the maturity he developed in four years as a shooting guard at the College of Charleston. His strong sense of security oozed out when he confirmed a pre-draft quote: "I'm going to be able to shoot until the day I die." Not only did he embrace it, Goudelock took it a step further: "Unless something happens, unless I gain some type of disease where I forget how to shoot, I’m going to shoot until the day I die." And his direct honesty on recognizing the need to play to his shooting strengths, his need to sharpen up on defense and the need to immediately begin work the day after the NBA draft shows he has the proper perspective. "Tonight I’m going to enjoy it," he said. "Then it’s back to work for me."

But this isn't an assessment based on a seven-minute conference call with the L.A. media. It just confirms what's already apparent. Goudelock averaged 23.7 points on 45.5% shooting as a senior last season, continuing a pattern in which he increased his scoring average by at least three points and set a school record in points (2,571) and fourth-best in assists (424). He shot 40.7% from three-point range, suggesting he should already bolster the Lakers' 35.2% average from last season. 

"I’m not afraid of anybody," Goudelock said. "Whenever I have that confidence with me, I think it bodes well when I’m playing against competition because I don’t care who it is. When I step on that floor, I’m giving it 150% and I’m going to try to kill them."

Andrew Goudelock NBA draft interview

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