Jared Dudley said in a recent interview with Grantland’s Zach Lowe that he would have considered the Wizards in free agency if he had opted out of his contract, writes Ben Standig of CSNWashington.com. Dudley, who was also considering a return to Phoenix, was traded from Milwaukee to Washington earlier this month and said the Bucks didn’t show much interest in retaining him if he had opted for free agency. Dudley surprised many when he opted in for $4.25MM next season before the trade, but he used the case of the still-unsigned J.R. Smith to explain his reasoning. “I wanted to opt out,” Dudley said. “The whole thing was to opt out. At the same time, you never want to opt out — you want to have a deal in place or at least have a backup plan.” Dudley underwent surgery Tuesday for a herniated disk in his lower back and is expected to be out of action for three to four months.
There’s more news from the Southeast Division:
- Michael Beasley could have a chance to make the Heat roster if he is willing to come to camp without a guaranteed contract, contends Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. The columnist sees Zoran Dragic as a “lock” to earn a roster spot because of his brother, Goran, while Josh Richardson‘s potential combined with a small contract gives him a good chance as well. Winderman adds that based on Beasley’s Instagram account, he is clearly taking another shot at the NBA.
- At 35, the Heat’s Udonis Haslem is giving no thought to retirement, according to Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post. “I feel fine,” Haslem said. “I feel like I could go three or four more years depending on how Coach might need to use me or what the situation might be.” Haslem’s workload was down again in 2014/15, logging less than 1,000 minutes for the second straight season. However, he may be called on more often next year, especially if backup center Chris Andersen gets moved to help avoid the repeater tax. Haslem’s spot on the roster is secure, as he is signed for a guaranteed $2.9MM.
- Nobody questions the shooting ability of the Hornets‘ Troy Daniels, but he’ll have to do more than that to earn a secure spot in the NBA, writes Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. The 24-year-old is already on his third team, and Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said the guard’s “physical development” will be key to his NBA future. “I’ve wanted to see him add weight and gain strength, which I think will help him at both ends of the floor,” Clifford said. “He can shoot the ball from long range. He has a good feel of how to play. Right now, in order to take advantage of the skills he has worked on, he has to get stronger.”