2018-19 NBA Season Review
Jared Dudley spent the 2018-19 NBA season helping the Brooklyn Nets during their resurgent 2019 NBA playoff run. While on the court, the Nets were led by D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, and their former young core, but Dudley led the charge off the court. He served as one of the best veteran leaders in the league, which is why the Los Angeles Lakers made him their second addition of the offseason.
Dudley did not stuff the stat sheet with the Nets, averaging just 4.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 20.7 minutes per game. However, many of those young Nets players attribute a ton of their success to Dudley and what he did for the team in his limited role on the court.
Dudley has spent the last couple of seasons being a veteran leader on developing teams. The Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, and the early Los Angeles Clippers are just some of what he had to deal with. However, in Dudley’s prime with the Steve Nash-led Suns, he was a 12-point per game player. This will be the first time since then that he has found himself on a championship contender.
2019-20 NBA Season Outlook
The Lakers quickly came to terms with Dudley to begin free agency while they were still waiting on Kawhi Leonard‘s decision. Dudley immediately started making the rounds telling Leonard why he should come play for the Lakers. Leonard obviously did not make that decision, but Dudley showed the type of energy and character he will bring.
For the Lakers, Dudley may actually be asked to play some decent minutes by head coach Frank Vogel. Right now, he is the only true small forward on the roster after LeBron James. However, if James starts playing minutes at the point guard position, the Lakers may turn to Dudley rather than forcing the whole team to play out of position.
At 34-years-old, Dudley is obviously a player who will be ready to contribute in any way necessary, but it may be nice to see him make a real on-court contribution for the Lakers — something the league knows he is more than capable of.
Dudley was a great signing at a time when the Lakers had to be very frugal with their money. Having someone who is passionate about the Lakers and ready to help in any way, shape, or form is a hugely underrated part of the game — and that is exactly what Dudley will bring this season.