Jared Dudley

Free Agency Rumors: Lakers, Hornets, Pelicans, Baynes, Bazemore

The Lakers anticipate being “first in line” to talk to two of their veteran free agents, Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley, when free agency opens, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Howard and Bradley are expected to draw interest from multiple other clubs, including perhaps the Warriors, but it sounds like L.A. has interest in bringing back both of them. The Lakers and veteran forward Jared Dudley also have mutual interest in a new deal, Scotto adds.

Here’s more from Scotto on free agency:

  • The Hornets are expected to be in the market for a free agent center, according to Scotto, who notes that the team will likely lose Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez in free agency.
  • Scotto echoes a rumor we heard earlier in the week, writing that the Pelicans are expected to show interest in free agent center Aron Baynes.
  • The Kings and Kent Bazemore are expected to have mutual interest in reaching a new deal, according to Scotto, who notes that the free agent swingman will likely speak with a number of teams once free agency begins.

And-Ones: Dudley, Season, Pitino, Silver

As the NBA and NBPA continue discussions on when next season should begin, veteran forward Jared Dudley took to social media and voiced his own opinion on the matter, explaining why any proposal that limits the 2020/21 schedule to 50 games shouldn’t be considered by either side.

“Can’t play 50 games .. Thats a hard no for the players!” Dudley wrote. “Has to be a min of 72.. the real question is what change in a week? The league kept saying January January.. Everybody knew how big Christmas was and Olympics being late July months ago.. TV just mentioned it now??

The NBA is offering a proposal that allows next season to start as early as December 22, one that multiple high-level players have resisted to date. according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes (Twitter link). The players’ union prefers to start on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 18), but one report suggested the league would only offer a 50-game season if players insist on that start date. As of Friday, no 50-game proposal had been formally put forth.

By lowering the number of games played from 82 to 50, the salaries of players would be drastically reduced. However, by starting the season too soon, the league may risk the health of its players who recently played in Orlando — the Finals ended only three weeks ago.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • New Iona coach Rick Pitino remains intent on coaching the Greek national team during next June’s qualifiers, he told Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link). Pitino first announced his intention of coaching the team in November of 2019.
  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver will have to find a way to balance revenue with safety entering next season, Steve Popper of Newsday writes. It’s unclear how the league plans to proceed in terms of fan attendance, with the absence of spectators naturally costing a significant loss in revenue. Outside of attendance, both the NBA and NBPA have yet to reach agreement on when next season should begin.

Jared Dudley Explains How Proposed ‘Bubble’ Would Work

Assuming the NBA can resume its season, the league appears to be leaning strongly toward doing so in one or two centralized “bubble” locations, where players and teams will stay and play their games for two or three months. Discussing that scenario during a video conference call on Wednesday, Lakers forward Jared Dudley explained that players and others inside the bubble wouldn’t be forced into quarantine during their time there.

“You will be allowed to leave,” Dudley said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Now just because you leave, if we’re going to give you that leeway, if you come back with corona, you can’t play.”

[RELATED: NBA Discussing Possibility Of July Return]

As Dudley noted – citing discussions with commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts – the plan is for frequent COVID-19 testing to take place within that bubble, which Silver has referred to as a “campus”-like environment in which players can spend time at hotels, gyms, and dining areas. However, the veteran forward suspects that not every player will be satisfied to remain within that limited space for the duration of the season.

“When you’re dealing with 300 different players — if you’ve seen (The Last Dance), every team’s got a (Dennis) Rodman. He just doesn’t have green and blue hair,” Dudley said. “There’s always someone who’s outside the box, who does that, takes the risk and says, ‘Hey, listen, man, I’m healthy, and I feel good.'”

Still, Dudley doesn’t think there are many players who would take that risk, pointing out that contracting the coronavirus during an outside excursion would force the player out of action for at least a couple weeks and would put his teammates at risk. As such, there will be “added pressure” not to do so. Dudley also believes that individual teams, like his Lakers, would impress upon their players that they don’t want them to leave, even if the NBA doesn’t explicitly prevent it.

“Bron, AD and all the top guys we have, we’ll be wrapping them in a bubble and not letting them go anywhere,” Dudley said. “You’ll have that be a team rule. Now, it won’t be a league, an NBA rule, but you’d want to say, ‘Listen, guys, we’ve come too far. We’re going to put our family on hold. … It’s going to be hard for two months, but it’s something we have to sacrifice.'”

As we relayed on Wednesday, Walt Disney World – near Orlando – has emerged as a “clear frontrunner” to host a potential NBA return. McMenamin notes within his report that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe have heard the league is considering a two-site format which would also include Las Vegas.

Pacific Notes: Kings, Cook, Warriors, Clippers

The Kings will place more than one third of their full-time workers on four-month furloughs beginning June 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports. The employees were informed in an email from President of Business Operations John Rinehart.  The furloughs will impact approximately 100 workers but the front office, health and performance, and scouting/analytics staffs will not be affected.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Lakers guard Quinn Cook detailed all the precautions being taken at the team’s practice facility after it was reopened. In an Instagram post relayed by The Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli, Cook said even his shoes were not exempt. “We had to leave whatever we wore, whatever shoes and flip-flops we wore, we had to leave them outside,” he said. “We had to wash our hands as soon as we walk in the door. Once we get inside, all of our stuff is kind of right there on the court.” Cook and Devontae Cacok were the only two players to use the facility on Saturday, according to Ganguli. Veterans Jared Dudley and Danny Green were planning to use the facility on Monday.
  • Guards Derrick Rose, Tomas Satoransky and Reggie Bullock are among the guards the Warriors could target with their $17MM trade exception, Grant Liffmann of NBC Sports Bay Area opines. The Warriors obtained the large exception in the Andre Iguodala trade with Memphis last summer.
  • The Clippers’ workout plan during the stoppage of play should have them well-prepared whenever practices and games resume, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic details. The Clippers held weekly group workouts over Zoom as well as chats with famous athletes, along with creating personalized home workout rooms for each player. The organization ordered equipment to ensure each player could work out from home via video calls with individualized player-coaches and strength trainers.

Coronavirus Notes: Tolliver, Dudley, Testing, Asterisk

Add Anthony Tolliver to the list of players who believe there’s strong support throughout the league for finishing the season. Tolliver, a member of the NBPA executive committee, offered some insight into the players’ position during an interview with Darren Wolfson of KSTP (video link).

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that guys want to play, and I think guys want to do it in a safe way,” Tolliver said. “We need to figure out a way where we’re not putting the assistant coaches, especially the older people who would be in that environment, as long as we’re not putting them in serious health risk — I think that’s going to be the biggest key. Guys want to play ball. Guys don’t want to lose money. I think that as long as we have the protocols in place that everybody’s confident in, that’s whenever things will start to pick up some momentum.” 

It was already an eventful year for Tolliver, even before the league shutdown. He left the Timberwolves last summer to sign with the Trail Blazers, then was traded to the Kings in January. Sacramento waived him a month later, and he signed a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies on March 2. Tolliver says he was planning to ink a second 10-day deal on March 12, but the league hiatus got in the way.

There’s more coronavirus-related news:

  • Lakers forward Jared Dudley believes the season will start again in July, probably in a bubble atmosphere in Las Vegas or Orlando, relays Steve Popper of Newsday. Appearing on ESPN Radio in New York, Dudley said the amount of money at stake will drive the league to find a solution. “We’re going to be safe in this bubble because of the testing — we’re going to be doing them before every game,” he said. “That’s why Adam Silver wants to wait another month or two to be able to sign off on it because he wants everybody in society to be able to get tests first. And second, the data will show the virus that between the ages of 19 and 35, it’s what, 0.001% that someone has died and that’s not even a professional athlete.”
  • The NBA’s willingness to push back the start of next season increases the likelihood that this season will be completed, writes Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. He adds that the decision to permit asymptomatic testing in some cities shows that the league is serious about playing again.
  • The unusual circumstances surrounding the end of the season means this year’s champion should receive an asterisk, especially if the playoffs are affected because some players have to be quarantined for two weeks, argues Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. However, ESPN’s Jalen Rose disagrees, telling Mike Singer of the Denver Post that champions have always had to overcome some type of obstacles.

Coronavirus Notes: Dudley, Bubble, Heat, China

Jared Dudley, who serves as a Players Association representative for the Lakers, revealed that the NBA might be willing to play until October to finish the season (hat tip to The Sporting News). Responding late on Friday night to a comment by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that the league is willing to extend the season through Labor Day, Dudley tweeted“I heard even Oct from Adam Silver today…”

The league has been talking with players and owners for weeks to determine a workable plan to save the season, and this is the latest potential completion date that has been made public. It reflects the growing optimism that has been reported throughout the league since a conference call involving the commissioner and the players Friday night.

There’s more coronavirus-related news:

  • Players aren’t excited about the proposed “bubble” concept that would isolate everyone in a host city such as Las Vegas or Orlando, Shelburne said in an appearance on ESPN’s Dickerson & Hood radio show (Twitter link). “Players don’t really want to do a bubble,” she said. “They would much rather stay in their home cities, fly privately to and from wherever they’re going and be home with their families, not have tons of restrictions … players were really against the idea of being cooped up in a hotel for two months, three months or however long that would be.” She adds that strictly enforcing quarantine rules in a bubble setting could become problematic.
  • The Heat have received formal clearance to begin player workouts at AmericanAirlines Arena, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Miami-Dade County issued an amendment to an emergency order that permits “use of facilities owned or leased by a professional sports franchise, solely by employees of such franchise for training purposes.” Players are expected to begin using the facility on Wednesday.
  • Chinese Basketball Association president Yao Ming said the league is considering three options for resuming play, relays Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. In an interview with CCTV, Ming explained that the league is still deciding whether to finish a full schedule, shorten the season, or go straight to the playoffs. Under any setup, players will be confined to hotels and fans will not be admitted to games.
  • Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports contends it would be a mistake for the NBA to move opening day to Christmas on a permanent basis.

Coronavirus Notes: Training Facilities, NBPA, K. Guy

In a Monday morning appearance on ESPN’s Get Up (video link), Brian Windhorst said that the aggressive pay check reduction that team owners have proposed for players is an indication that the NBA is “preparing for the worst” while “hoping for the best.”

As Windhorst explains, the proposal from owners – a 50% pay check reduction starting on April 15 – is essentially what would be required to help balance the players/owners revenue split in the event of a canceled season.

While Windhorst is one of many people connected to the NBA expressing pessimism about the resumption of the 2019/20 season, he notes that the league, Turner Sports, and ESPN are all working hard to try to come up with events that could realistically be held in the coming months without the need for widespread COVID-19 testing. The proposed H-O-R-S-E competition that was reported over the weekend is one such example.

Here’s more on the NBA’s hiatus and the coronavirus pandemic:

  • In an entertaining Q&A with Michael Lee of The Athletic, Lakers forward Jared Dudley discussed a wide variety of topics, expressing concern about players who have no access to training facilities being able to prepare for a resumed season. “I’m not allowed to shoot a basketball (because of California’s stay-at-home order). For four months!” Dudley said. “And you’re going to give me two to three weeks? To be ready for playoffs and regular season? And be able to have my body play without injuries? That’s the last component where you’re like, ‘Hey, what’s feasible?’ Because the NBA will give you two weeks, that’s not enough. You will 100 percent see injuries you haven’t seen because of that.”
  • The NBPA originally had a conference call with agents scheduled for Monday, but it has been pushed back until Tuesday, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). According to Woj, the NBA’s proposed pay check reduction for players is among the subjects expected to be discussed during that call.
  • After losing his grandfather to COVID-19, Kings rookie Kyle Guy published an Instagram post in which he urged people to take the virus seriously and follow public health orders. Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee has the full story.

Hiatus Notes: Dudley, Blazers, Ballmer, Booker, Mavs

Veteran forward Jared Dudley is pessimistic that the NBA will resume its season after this indefinite hiatus, he explained on FOX Sports Radio this week.

Dudley joins a growing list of NBA players and officials who are skeptical about whether the league can resume its regular season. The overall concern, he explains, is focused around limiting injuries.

“Once I heard the news of no more practice facilities, if that goes for a month or month-and-a-half to two months, I find it almost impossible to then have a season because now you’re telling a professional athlete, ‘For 60-to-80 days you’ve done no training,'” Dudley said.

League officials know that resuming the regular season after several weeks of limited training would be risky unless each team is awarded ample time of preparation, much like what’s already being offered in the fall with training camps. Dudley estimates that 70% of athletes don’t have a personal gym inside their home to utilize during this break.

“I’m not optimistic right now at all for a season to be honest with you,” Dudley said. “Unless something happens here in the next 30 days where they open back up the facilities. But how do they do that? Once everyone starts getting tested you’re going to hear more and more cases because it’s a very common thing to get.”

The NBA is discussing a plethora of different avenues to take as this unprecedented hiatus continues, with commissioner Adam Silver open to receiving suggestions from the league’s players, coaches, agents, executives and fans for the time being.

Here are some other notes related to the NBA’s hiatus:

  • The Trail Blazers and owner Jody Allen have committed more than $4MM towards COVID-19 relief efforts, the team announced on social media (Twitter link). The money will assist game night employees impacted by the league’s postponement.
  • The Ballmer Group, founded by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, have donated $1MM to community groups in Los Angeles to help during the coronavirus epidemic, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times writes.
  • Suns guard Devin Booker is pledging $100L through Twitch livestreaming to support non-profits that best serve the needs of the most vulnerable in the community, the team announced in a press release. Phoenix Suns Charities will match Booker’s initial donation, the release adds.
  • Mark Cuban, Luka Doncic and Dwight Powell have teamed up with the Mavericks Foundation to donate $500,000 to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital, the team announced (Twitter link). The funds will support childcare for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.

Nets Notes: Irving, Lineup Changes, Dinwiddie, Dudley

A year ago, Knicks fans were hoping Kyrie Irving would be part of a free agency coup that would turn the franchise around. Today marks their first chance to see him since his decision to sign with the cross-town Nets, writes Greg Joyce of The New York Post. Irving was sidelined with an injury during Brooklyn’s first trip to Madison Square Garden, and players expect a raucous setting for today’s game.

“The atmosphere has been crazy this whole week, so no question, it’s going to be a super-ecstatic atmosphere,” Taj Gibson said. “Hopefully we can match the same intensity and pull out a tough one.”

Even though Irving missed 27 games with a shoulder impingement, the Nets are eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, while the Knicks are headed for the lottery again. Irving’s 45-point outburst in last night’s win at Detroit is the latest reminder that he’s the type of impact player New York still doesn’t have.

There’s more this morning out of Brooklyn:

  • Coach Kenny Atkinson juggled his lineup against the Pistons, helping the Nets break a five-game losing streak, notes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Defensive specialist Garrett Temple started in the backcourt next to Irving as Spencer Dinwiddie was used off the bench for the first time in more than two months. “I always talk to the coaches about it, but it was a little bit of a hunch. I thought we needed to shuffle some things up,” Atkinson said. “It had nothing to do with Spencer’s play, absolutely nothing. It was more can we get Spencer in that ballhandling role a little bit more, because we all know that’s where he’s great.”
  • Dinwiddie tells Matt Schoch of The Detroit News that it’s no longer a big deal to play against the Pistons, who drafted him in 2014 but traded him to the Bulls after two seasons. “Honestly, I would rather see Wilson (Chandler) go out there and go get 40 because he’s from here,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s a bigger game for him than anyone else.”
  • Jared Dudley wanted to stay with the Nets, but got tired of waiting for the team to make a commitment, relays Billy Reinhardt of NetsDaily. He wound up signing a one-year deal with the Lakers. “When I’m looking at how it’s going and all the guys are coming off the board, watching Jeff Green go to Utah and when I saw (Anthony) Tolliver signed with Portland, I was supposed to sign before Tolliver, there’s usually a pecking order,” Dudley recalled. “When I saw that, that’s when I started making my phone calls. Once L.A. offered me, Brooklyn offered, but by that time my mind was already — once LeBron (James) and (Anthony Davis) signed off on it — there was no turning back.”

Lakers Notes: Davis, Rondo, Kuzma, Dudley

The Lakers haven’t missed a beat with Anthony Davis out of their lineup for the last three games, beating Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Cleveland by an average margin of nearly 20 points per contest as the star big man recovers from a lower back injury. As Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times writes, the team’s success prompted Davis to joke today that the Lakers don’t actually need him, but head coach Frank Vogel wasn’t quite ready to make light of the situation.

“This is L.A., you know everything I say will be quoted out of context,” Vogel said. “So I was gonna make a joke, but I’m not gonna joke because we definitely need Anthony Davis.”

As for when Davis might return to the Lakers’ lineup, the team isn’t ready to offer a specific timeline, once again listing AD as questionable for Wednesday’s game vs. Orlando. For his part, Davis said he feels much better, but hasn’t yet taken any contact or sprinted, per Ganguli.

“When I feel like I’m able to get back to my old self and do the moves I’ve always done and be successful at it, that’s when I’ll be able to get back on the floor,” Davis said.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Rajon Rondo missed Monday’s game due to a fracture in his right ring finger and is expected to be sidelined for a few more days, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The veteran point guard has been ruled out for Wednesday, while his status for Saturday’s game in Houston remains up in the air.
  • Despite Kyle Kuzma‘s strong recent play, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report makes the case that newly-promoted head of basketball operations Rob Pelinka has to do his due diligence to see if the Lakers can upgrade their roster by moving the third-year forward, since the team doesn’t have many other draft assets or prospects to offer.
  • He wasn’t one of the Lakers’ most noteworthy offseason signees, but Jared Dudley has proven his value to the franchise. As Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet relays (via Twitter), LeBron James referred to the veteran forward as “one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”
  • In contrast to the first go-round, Dwight Howard‘s second stint with the Lakers has been “pure joy” for both sides, Helene Elliott writes in a column for The Los Angeles Times.