The Los Angeles Lakers have made official the re-signing of veteran forward Jared Dudley. He returned to the team on a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract.
Dudley came to the Lakers as one of their first free-agent signings in 2019, bringing veteran leadership after a successful playoff stint with the Brooklyn Nets. He instantly became a fan favorite, as well as a positive influence in the locker room.
While Dudley averaged just 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 8.1 minutes per game — playing in only 45 games — he shot 42.9% from three and provided immeasurable value to the team off the court. His biggest tangible influence likely came in the form of Kyle Kuzma, who made leaps and bounds as a defender and rebounder during the 2019-20 campaign.
Dudley, along with the rest of the Lakers bench unit, ensured that each game inside the Walt Disney World bubble felt like a home game. This certainly contributed to the team’s ability to play well night in and night out during a strenuous time.
Now in his 14th NBA season, Dudley will be re-joining the Lakers to try and help integrate several new key pieces. Chemistry was one of the defining factors of the 2019-20 group, and they’ll try to preserve that despite bringing in a number of new players.
Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder, Marc Gasol and Wesley Matthews will hope to have a seamless transition on to the Lakers roster, and it made perfect sense for Dudley to be a part of that process.
LeBron James signs two-year extension with Lakers
In terms of team continuity and chemistry, there is perhaps nothing more destructive than star free agency rumors. Kevin Durant’s pending free agency in his final year with the Golden State Warriors led to abundant drama and his eventual departure to the Brooklyn Nets.
With LeBron James having the option to enter 2021 free agency, he decided to put any potential rumors to rest by reportedly signing a two-year, $85 million contract extension that keeps him in L.A. through the 2022-23 season.
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