Jared Dudley

Scotto’s Latest: Cavs, Bulls, J. Smith, D. Jordan, Dudley, More

There were some “intense” talks in the Lauri Markkanen sign-and-trade negotiations between the Cavaliers and Bulls for several days leading up to their agreement last week, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said in his latest podcast with Yossi Gozlan.

According to Scotto, Cleveland originally wanted to include three second-round picks in their offer for Markkanen, but Chicago insisted on receiving a first-rounder, and the Cavs were able to get one from Portland for Larry Nance Jr. and reroute it to the Bulls.

Even after securing that first-round pick, the Bulls held out for a second-rounder on top of that, according to Scotto, who says some of the parties involved in those negotiations were frustrated by what they perceived to be a moving of the goal posts. Eventually though, the Cavs sent a protected second-round selection to Chicago to get the deal done.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • Second-year big man Jalen Smith has been made available by the Suns, multiple sources tell Scotto. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report stated last month that Phoenix was gauging interest in Smith, and I speculated earlier this week that the former lottery pick could be in play if the Suns make a trade offer for Spurs forward Thaddeus Young.
  • Scotto reports that the Nets have offered a first-round pick swap in trade talks involving center DeAndre Jordan, but haven’t found any takers. The two sides are reportedly exploring a buyout.
  • Jared Dudley told Scotto that he planned to retire if the Lakers didn’t re-sign him, since he didn’t want to play anywhere else. When L.A. chose to move on, Dudley accepted an assistant coaching job with the Mavericks.
  • The Bulls are among the teams that have shown some interest in free agent wing James Ennis, according to Scotto.
  • When he re-signed with the Knicks, Nerlens Noel wasn’t assured the starting center job, but he’ll get a chance to compete for that role and will “definitely” play meaningful minutes, says Scotto.

Mavs Officially Announce Jason Kidd’s Coaching Staff

The Mavericks issued a press release on Tuesday evening officially announcing Jason Kidd‘s coaching staff, confirming a handful of previously-reported hires.

Igor Kokoskov is perhaps the most noteworthy addition, fresh off a stint as the head coach of EuroLeague team Fenerbahçe. Kokoskov has served as an assistant for seven different NBA teams over the last two decades and was the head coach in Phoenix for the 2018/19 season. Reports in July indicated that Kokoskov was expected to join Kidd’s staff.

Fourteen-year NBA veteran Jared Dudley, whose agreement with the Mavs was reported last week, was also officially announced as an assistant coach.

Kokoskov and Dudley will be joined by Sean Sweeney, who worked with Kidd during his previous head coaching stints in Milwaukee and Brooklyn, and Greg St. Jean, who worked alongside Kidd with the Lakers over the last two seasons.

Kristi Toliver, fresh off her 12th season as a WNBA player, will also be an assistant coach on Kidd’s staff, with Darrell Armstrong, God Shammgod, and Peter Patton rounding out the group. Armstrong, Shammgod, and Patton are holdovers from Rick Carlisle‘s coaching staff.

Jared Dudley Had Hoped To Return To Lakers

Veteran NBA forward Jared Dudley appears prepared to retire as a player, having reportedly agreed to become an assistant coach on Jason Kidd‘s Mavericks staff. However, Dudley tells Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times that his first choice this summer would’ve been to return to the Lakers as a player.

“I thought I was coming back to the Lakers,” Dudley said. “This is crazy.”

As Plaschke explains, Dudley would have been willing to accept a non-guaranteed contract, and veteran Lakers like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook wanted him to return (James published a series of tweets expressing his dismay over Dudley’s departure). However, Los Angeles appears to be prioritizing filling out its last couple open roster spots with younger players.

“I talked to (executives) Rob (Pelinka) and Kurt (Rambis), I thanked them, but I told them, ‘You’re valuing youth more than a locker room presence guy,'” Dudley told Plaschke. “I said, ‘I respect you for doing that, but I think you’re wrong.’

“… My job was way more than a locker room presence,” Dudley added. “You’re a guidance counselor, a relationship expert. … I’m the middle-man that brings it all together.”

Even if the Lakers didn’t want to re-sign Dudley as a player, it would have made sense for the team to offer him a spot on its coaching staff. Perhaps Dudley preferred to join Kidd in Dallas, but Plaschke’s story makes it sound as if the Lakers didn’t discuss the possibility of the 36-year-old retiring and becoming a coach.

With Dudley no longer in the picture, the Lakers continue to consider how to fill out the openings on a 15-man roster whose only returning players are James, Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Marc Gasol.

“No one owed me anything, Rob and Kurt were honest and upfront, nothing but respect and gratitude to them and (team owner) Jeanie (Buss), I will be forever thankful for the opportunity they gave me,” Dudley told Plaschke. “But I did want to come back. I did think I could help the team, especially having so many new players, but I understand they wanted to get younger.”

Mavs To Hire Jared Dudley As Assistant Coach

12:49pm: Dudley has agreed to join the Mavericks’ coaching staff, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

8:30am: The Mavericks are in advanced discussions with veteran forward Jared Dudley about hiring him as an assistant coach on Jason Kidd‘s staff, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein (Twitter link).

Dudley, 36, has appeared in over 900 NBA regular season games since entering the league in 2007. He began his career in Charlotte, then spent time with the Suns, Clippers, Bucks, Wizards, Suns, Nets, and Lakers over the course of 14 seasons.

However, Dudley has seen his playing time decline significantly in recent years. In 2020/21, he logged just 81 total minutes in 12 games for the Lakers, and a report last week indicated that L.A. wasn’t expected to re-sign him. Now, it seems as if he’s prepared to move onto the next stage of his career.

While Kidd and Dudley never played together, they have plenty of history. Dudley played for Milwaukee in 2014/15 when Kidd was the head coach, and the Hall-of-Fame point guard was an assistant with the Lakers for the past two years.

Kidd’s coaching staff is still taking shape, but it appears he’s making it a priority to add at least a couple assistants with playing experience. J.J. Barea and Tyson Chandler are among the other NBA vets who have been mentioned as possible candidates.

Lakers Work Out Isaiah Thomas, Darren Collison, Mike James

Free agent guards Isaiah Thomas, Darren Collison and Mike James all recently worked out for the Lakers, who are looking for veteran help to fill out their roster, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

None of the three veteran guards will definitely be signed, sources tell Haynes, and L.A. may decide to have a training camp battle for its final roster spots. The Lakers currently have 12 players with guaranteed contracts and plan to carry just 14 in the regular season for roster flexibility.

L.A.’s priority is finding a third point guard, according to Haynes’ sources, and the team may be in the market for another wing player as well.

Thomas, 32, is hoping to revive his career after dealing with injuries the past four years. He played just three games last season on a 10-day contract with the Pelicans, but says he’s fully healthy now and has been playing well in pro-am leagues. He joined LeBron James and Russell Westbrook for a workout Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to Haynes.

Collison, 33, made a surprise retirement announcement in the summer of 2019, citing family and religious reasons. There were rumors that he might return with the Lakers or Clippers during the 2019/20 season, but he later called them “overhyped.” He played 76 games for the Pacers in his final NBA season, averaging 11.2 PPG and shooting 40.7% from three-point range.

James, 30, finished last season with the Nets after leaving CSKA Moscow. He was part of the rotation in Brooklyn, playing 13 games and averaging 7.7 points and 4.2 assists in 18.2 minutes per night.

The Lakers are expected to move on from veteran shooter Jared Dudley, Haynes adds. Dudley is a free agent after playing 12 games last season.

Lakers Notes: Davis, James, Dudley, Vaccinations

Anthony Davis took responsibility for the Lakers’ loss in their playoff opener to the Suns and promises there won’t be a repeat in Game 2, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin relays. Davis was limited to 13 points on 5-for-16 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.

“There’s no way we’re winning a game, let alone a series, with me playing the way that I played,” Davis said. “So, I mean, this is on me. I take full responsibility, for sure. We’ll be better Game 2.”

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Davis shrugs off detractors he plays too soft at times, writes Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register“If there are people who say that, most of them probably were never in the game,” he said. “I really don’t care.”
  • LeBron James turned aside a postgame question regarding his league protocols violation, per Mark Medina and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. James avoided a suspension despite attending a promotion event in which an excess of 25 people were in attendance. “I’ll be ready for Game 2,” was all that James offered to the media on that subject.
  • Jared Dudley takes pride in his ability to return from a torn right MCL while avoiding surgery, Goon reports in a separate piece. Dudley opted for plasma injections while dropping 20 pounds with a strict diet over the past two months. “I put this up as being the best achievement of my career,” Dudley said. “I could have been done. Now, maybe I can play another year. It means a lot that I can even be back out on the court.”
  • Monday marked the first day that the team was at least 85% vaccinated, Medina tweets.

Injury Updates: Dudley, Hayes, Robinson, Gordon, Fournier

Lakers reserve forward Jared Dudley will not have surgery on his torn MCL because he hopes to contribute in the postseason, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. Dudley, who has appeared in 11 games this season, suffered the right MCL tear earlier this month.  Surgery would sideline Dudley for about four to six months, so he’ll continue to rehab around the team and remain a veteran presence in the locker room.

We have more injury-related news:

  • Pistons lottery pick Killian Hayes has shown significant improvement from his right hip subluxation but he won’t return for at least three more weeks, Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press tweets. Hayes has been cleared for on-court basketball activities and will begin a phased progression toward his return to full-contact practice and game action, according to a team press release. Hayes suffered the injury during Detroit’s seventh game this season.
  • Knicks center Mitchell Robinson has been cleared for practice and will be able to take contact, Ian Begley of SNY TV tweets. Robinson underwent surgery on February 16 to repair a fracture in his right hand.
  • Magic starters Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier — two players prominently mentioned in trade rumors — practiced on Tuesday and could return for Thursday’s game against the Knicks, according to Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel. Fournier has missed the past four games with a groin strain, while Gordon hasn’t dressed the past two games due to a left ankle injury. Gordon initially sprained the ankle on January 31 and missed 15 consecutive games.

Jared Dudley Suffers MCL Tear

Lakers forward Jared Dudley has suffered a right MCL tear and is evaluating his treatment options, the team announced, as relayed by Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles (Twitter link). No timetable was issued for his return.

Dudley, 35, has appeared in only 11 games this season, playing a total of 76 minutes. He was part of the team’s 2019/20 championship roster, serving as a valuable locker room leader and appearing in 45 contests.

Dudley has made past stops with Charlotte, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Washington and Brooklyn during his 14-year NBA career. The Lakers currently own the third-best record in the West at 25-13.

Pacific Notes: Dudley, Suns, LeBron, Davis, Toscano-Anderson

Lakers forward Jared Dudley said the team was motivated by Clippers star Paul George‘s comments last season, with Dudley clarifying further in his book released earlier this week, “Inside the NBA Bubble: A Championship Season under Quarantine”.

“We hear some of those guys talking about how they’re the team to beat in L.A.,” Dudley and co-author Carvell Wallace wrote, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It’s fine if Kawhi [Leonard] says stuff like that. He’s defending a championship. We don’t trip if someone like Patrick Beverley is talking trash; that’s how he feeds his family. We get it. We respect the hustle.

“But we think it’s disrespectful for Paul George, who hasn’t won, to put himself on the level of [LeBron James] and [Anthony Davis]. This motivates us.”

Dudley also mentioned how the league could benefit from having a Lakers-Clippers rivalry, with both teams seemingly eager to meet in a playoff series — potentially the Western Conference Finals.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns are set to welcome back fans for the first time this season, the team announced on its website. Phoenix will host 1,500 fans on February 8, with suites being available to purchase at 25% capacity for each game after February 7.
  • Marc Stein of the New York times examines the pairing of Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, exploring whether the duo has gotten even better together since signing long-term extensions in the offseason. Los Angeles has opened the 2020/21 season with a 16-6 record, good for third-best in the Western Conference.
  • Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic looks at the making of Warriors swingman Juan Toscano-Anderson. Toscano-Anderson is in his second season with Golden State, with the 27-year-old adding 16 points off the bench in Tuesday’s loss against Boston. “He has an appreciation for the grind that it’s taken for him to get to this level,” teammate Stephen Curry said. “He has a spirit of representing Oakland. Playing for the hometown team for him has got to be such a dope experience. But when it comes to getting on the floor, he plays hard. He’s a smart basketball player. He’s reliable in that sense. He’s worked for everything he’s gotten, for every opportunity. … He hasn’t taken his foot off the gas pedal.”

Pacific Notes: J. Smith, Booker, Wiseman, Dudley

Suns rookie Jalen Smith confirmed that his recent absence was a result of testing positive for COVID-19, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix had three games postponed this month because of a shortage of eligible players due to health and safety protocols.

“I had COVID for like 10 days,” Smith said. “For like those first, I’d say eight, I didn’t experience any symptoms, but then like basically the last night before getting off, my smell was faint and my taste was faint, but I got my taste back and my smell is starting to come back a little bit now.”

The virus isn’t the only obstacle that Smith, the 10th pick in last year’s draft, has encountered during his first NBA experience. He suffered an ankle injury during a workout last month and has only gotten into two games. He was cleared to return January 6, but tested positive the next day.

“Mentally, I’m fine,” he said. “It’s a process. I still got to learn a lot of new stuff that was put in while I was out, but it’s a part of basketball. I feel fine. it’s just a matter of me getting my wind back. Just continuing to get back into the motion with the team.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns star Devin Booker suffered a left hamstring strain Friday that will force him to miss tonight’s game and possibly longer, tweets Gerald Bourguet of The Step Back. “We’re really not sure,” coach Monty Williams said. “What I’ve been told is it could be day-to-day. Depending on how he feels, it could be another week.”
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr is coordinating the minutes for rookie center James Wiseman to get him on the court as much as possible with the team’s veteran leaders, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. So far, the No. 2 pick has played 267 minutes with Stephen Curry and 182 minutes with Draymond Green“If we’re going to be a championship contender the next few years, those guys have to learn to play together,” Kerr explained.
  • Lakers forward Jared Dudley is close to returning from a calf injury that has kept him out of action since January 8, according to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register (Twitter link). Coach Frank Vogel said Dudley is probably “a game or two out” from being available. The 35-year-old has played in just six games this season.