Jared Dudley

Lakers Notes: James, Davis, Dudley, Kuzma

LeBron James wants Anthony Davis to be the focal point of the Lakers offense, he told Josh Peter of USA Today and other media members during the team’s annual Media Day.

“If we’re not playing through Anthony Davis while he’s on the floor, then there’s no sense to having him on the floor,’’ James said.

Davis’ ability to draw double teams is an exciting proposition for James.

“When you’re able to attract two defenders on one guy, then you’ve got the numbers game. … It opens up for other guys on the floor, including myself,’’ he said.

We have more from the Lakers:

  • James gave a ringing endorsement to the front office headed up by Rob Pelinka and the work the group did this summer, Mark Medina of USA Today tweets. They focused on what they can do to make this franchise as competitive as they can be. They exceeded that. They did a hell of a job and I’m happy to be a Laker.”
  • James was hesitant about committing to playing for Team USA in next year’s Olympics, then said he would, Joe Vardon of The Athletic tweets“Umm, I don’t know. I would love to,” LeBron said, adding that it will depend on his health at season’s end.
  • Davis shrugged off comments made by Pelicans executive VP David Griffin that were seemingly critical of him, according to an ESPN report. Griffin was quoted earlier this week as saying, “If sex appeal is your thing and you need a big market, OK. See you later.” Davis was asked for a response on ESPN’s The Jump. “That’s fine. I don’t care,” he said. “I mean like, the past is the past, you know? I didn’t hear that.”
  • Jared Dudley is intent on making Kyle Kuzma a well-rounded player, according to Mark Trudell of the team’s website. “My guy would be Kyle Kuzma. What can I do off the court to help him get to his full potential? He’s really the key for us,” Dudley said.

L.A. Notes: Kawhi, George, Cook, Dudley

Speaking on Friday to reporters, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said that he doesn’t think Kawhi Leonard‘s “load management” plan for the 2019/20 season will be as strict as it was last year in Toronto, tweets Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.

After missing most of the 2017/18 season with a quad injury, Leonard didn’t play in any back-to-back sets during his first and only year as a Raptor. He also missed a handful of additional games due to minor ailments or for rest purposes, ultimately appearing in just 60 of the team’s 82 regular season games. Of course, he played all 24 postseason contests en route to a championship.

While the Clippers may plan on having Leonard play in more than 60 games this season as long as he remains healthy, Rivers acknowledged that he won’t be the only one involved in that decision. “That’ll be played out by smarter guys than me,” Rivers said, per Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two Los Angeles teams:

  • As Swanson details in the article linked above, Rivers and Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank addressed a handful of other topics during today’s media session. Frank said Paul George has made “great progress” in his recovery from shoulder surgeries, but didn’t offer a specific timeline for his return.
  • Frank also suggested that the Clippers will be keeping a close eye during the first half of the season on areas that may need to be fortified at the trade deadline or on the buyout market. “We’re gonna learn a lot over the first two, two-and-a-half, three months of the season,” Frank said, according to Swanson. “You can look at a roster and say, ‘I think the holes are gonna be here or here,’ and you could be completely off. What Doc does, he puts guys in position to succeed and play to their strengths, so what may, on the board, look like, ‘Oh, we lack this position,’ well, maybe he’s gonna make those adjustments and (we) won’t.”
  • While Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is optimistic that his team can get off to a strong start this season, he admits in a conversation with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com that all the new pieces on the roster may need some time to jell. “It’d probably be irresponsible to think it’s all going to happen overnight, and that we’re going to start the season with great cohesiveness,” Vogel said. “There are going to be bumps in the road, there are nights where it might be ugly, and guys are getting to know each other on both ends of the floor.”
  • In a pair of articles for Lakers.com, Joey Ramirez examines what free agent signees Quinn Cook and Jared Dudley will bring to the Lakers in 2019/20. Ramirez singles out Cook’s ability to shoot from the outside, as well as Dudley’s veteran leadership and high-IQ play.

Atlantic Notes: Randle, Dudley, Scott, Nets

The KnicksJulius Randle got a head start on building chemistry with his new teammates during workouts last month in Los Angeles, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Randle, who signed a three-year, $63MM contract, is among seven free agent additions in New York, along with rookies RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis.

“It’s important for us to get to know each other, spend time together on the court before training camp starts,” Randle said. “There’s a lot of new pieces. Everyone’s going to be trying to figure out their role. Coach (David Fizdale) is going to do a great job of helping us through that. If we want to be a good team and have a chance, we have to jump-start that process ourselves.”

From an individual standpoint, Randle is working this summer on becoming a more efficient scorer and is watching a lot of tape to try to improve defensively. He believes people who are expecting another losing season in New York are undervaluing the team.

“It’s easy to do that because the last couple of seasons have been hard,’’ Randle said. “It’s easy to underestimate us. But we’re a deep team. We’re a very deep 1-to-15 with guys who can play. If they underestimate us, I don’t care.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jared Dudley was interested in signing with the Celtics, but the team believed it already had enough wings and wanted to keep a roster spot open, reports Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. The Boston College alum wound up joining the Lakers on a one-year deal.
  • Sixers forward Mike Scott is looking forward to having Al Horford as a teammate again, writes Lauren Rosen of NBA.com. Scott broke into the league with the Hawks in 2012/13 when Horford was one of the stars in Atlanta. “Not only is he a great player, he’s a great person,” Scott said. “You love to play with people like that. He’s humble, he’s grateful, he knows his role.”
  • The NBA Board of Governors is expected to address Joe Tsai’s purchase of the Nets next month, according to a NetsDaily article. The sale shouldn’t affect any of the basketball operations, but changes may be coming on the business side of the organization.

Pacific Notes: Davis, Lee, Russell, Rivers

Lakers power forward Anthony Davis says he’s never failed at anything and is confident he’ll win a championship during his career, as he told ESPN personality Sarah Spain in a story relayed by Dave McMenamin. “If I don’t win a championship that would be, I would feel that’s one of my biggest failures. But right now, I still have a lot to do in this world on and off the court,” Davis said. “So I don’t feel like I’ve failed in anything. I think I just continue to do it over until I succeed at it.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors swingman Damion Lee will likely have a greater role than a typical two-way player, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. Beyond D’Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson‘s replacement as he mends from an ACL tear, the Warriors have an unimposing group of wings that include Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall, Jacob Evans, Alfonzo McKinnie, Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks. That puts Lee in position to fill a role as a floor spacer, Slater notes. Lee agreed to a two-way deal on Sunday.
  • Money was a major factor in Russell’s free agent decision, as his former Nets teammate and new Lakers forward Jared Dudley told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. Russell received four years and approximately $117MM in a sign-and-trade that raised some eyebrows since he’ll have to move to shooting guard with the Warriors. “D’Angelo wanted to get the max. So I’m not surprised,” Dudley said. “He would’ve gone to, you know, Saudi Arabia, if he could have gotten the max there. I’m not surprised he took that.”
  • With the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Clippers coach Doc Rivers feels like he’s been given another chance to win a ring, as he told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Rivers’ club repeatedly came up short during the Chris PaulBlake Griffin era with the franchise. “I view this as another opportunity to win it,” he said. “And let’s be honest: You don’t have a lot of opportunities to actually win it. When you have that, you take advantage of it.”

Lakers Sign Jared Dudley To One-Year Deal

JULY 7: The Lakers have officially signed Dudley to his minimum salary contract, the team announced today (via Twitter).

JULY 2: The Lakers will sign Jared Dudley to a one-year deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com tweets. The contract will be a minimum salary arrangement.

Los Angeles is slowly adding to their roster as the franchise waits on Kawhi Leonard‘s decision. In addition to Dudley, the team has already agreed to terms with Troy Daniels on a minimum-salary deal.

Neither Daniels’ deal nor Dudley’s will impact the Lakers’ cap room, as they’ll be finalized with the minimum salary exception after the team uses that room.

Dudley appeared in 59 games for Brooklyn last season. He spotted them 20.7 minutes per game while shooting 35.1% from behind the arc. The Pistons were among the teams competing for his services this offseason.

A Southern California native, Dudley will be returning home on his new deal in the hopes of competing for a title, as he tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

“This is something I’ve been contemplating. I’d be getting a chance to compete for a championship, which is something I haven’t had since the Steve Nash [Suns] days,” Dudley said. “I just think that being home and with that Laker brand, what’s better than that?”

Celtics Notes: Ainge, Adams, Dudley, Horford

It’s been a rough few weeks for the Celtics since their playoff run ended, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge insists he’s excited about the team’s new direction, relays Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Kyrie Irving appears certain to leave Boston and Al Horford is gone as well. The Celtics missed out on Anthony Davis and traded Aron Baynes to the Suns. There’s also uncertainty over the future of free agents Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris. The benefit of all that movement is that the organization could have up to $34MM in cap room when free agency begins.

“We have a very attractive franchise to play for, and there’s a lot of people who would be dying to come play here,” Ainge said.

The Celtics’ first step into the future came at Thursday’s draft, where they picked up Romeo Langford and Grant Williams in the first round and Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters in the second round. Forsberg notes that Ainge pointed frequently to the character of his draft class.

“Good people. Actually all four of (the picks).” Ainge said. “Very good guys. That played a very big part into why we selected them. Who they are, not just what they are capable of doing on the court. Very excited about their personalities and their character and I think they have the will to become great.”

There’s more this morning out of Boston:

  • Steven Adams could be a possibility if the Celtics want to solve their center issue through trade rather than free agency, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. The Thunder are looking to trim salary to reduce their league-high luxury tax bill and may be willing to part with Adams, who will make $25.8MM next season and $27.5MM in 2020/21. Adams is among the league’s best defenders and rebounds and has a career shooting percentage of .588. Blakely lists Nikola Vucevic, Dewayne Dedmon, Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh as other possible targets.
  • Free agent Jared Dudley had good things to say about Celtics coach Brad Stevens in a tweet on Friday. Dudley responded to a question about Stevens by posting, “One of the best X and O’s in the game.. players coach but not afraid to try all types of lineups… Rewards playing time by playing smart but Hard.. heard only good things.” Dudley has expressed interest in joining the Celtics, notes Michael DePrisco of NBC Sports Boston.
  • Celtics legend and ESPN analyst Paul Pierce supports Horford’s decision to leave the team. “A lot of these guys when they get in their late 20’s or early 30’s and they know there’s light at the end of the tunnel, they try to maximize their dollars,” Pierce said in an interview with John Karalis of MassLive. “So if there’s an opportunity for Al Horford to get more money, I’m sure that’s something you have to look into.”

Jared Dudley Would Be “Shocked” If Nets Don’t Get FA Meetings With Durant, Irving

Jared Dudley, who will be a free agent this summer, said it’s “possible” that he returns to the Nets next season, as he tells Marc Stein of The New York Times (via the scribe’s latest newsletter).

“I do think if it was up to (head coach) Kenny (Atkinson) and even (GM) Sean Marks, I think they would like me back,” Dudley said. “But they’ve got a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C — as they should. That doesn’t mean I can’t fit into that. But they’re close…

“It’s just set up for one All-Star player to come in and take this team from a six seed to a two seed within one year. They have the infrastructure — good owner, good GM, good coach. The practice facility is one of the best in the league. The arena is one of the best in the league. You’ve got draft picks, cap space, you’re in New York City. And the young talent — when it comes to 25 and under, if it’s not the best talent in the league it’s second or third.”

Brooklyn has just $32MM in guaranteed contracts on the books for next season against a $109MM projected salary cap. That figure does not include Allen Crabbe‘s $18.5MM player option, which he’s likely to invoke.

Dudley added that he believes the top free agents will consider the Nets, telling Stein that Brooklyn should be placed in the conversation among the marquee destinations in the NBA.

“The Clippers can do two max slots. So can Brooklyn,” Dudley said. “I didn’t promote every team I’ve ever been on…I’m not here just to toot Brooklyn’s horn. I’ve sold Brooklyn to other players just because you’d want the same thing. Players want to know the good organizations from the bad.”

The Knicks are also expected to open up two max contract slots. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are rumored to be their top targets, but Dudley believes the Knicks won’t be the only team in town to get a meeting with each player.

“I would be shocked if the Nets don’t get a sit-down,” Dudley said.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Dudley, Gasol, Williams

The Sixers failed to contain the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam on Saturday, two major reasons why the team lost Game 1 at Scotiabank Arena, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

Leonard and Siakam combined to score 74 points, shooting 28-for-38 from the floor and 6-of-11 from 3-point range.

“Two really good players,” said Joel Embiid, who shot just 5-of-18. “Their two best players showed up. I didn’t tonight and I have to do a better job.

“I have a lot of respect for those guys. They showed up. … They did a good. Next time maybe just like they are doing to me and double-teaming me. Throw some double-teams and have a better game plan.”

Philadelphia wound up losing the game 108-95, holding just a 39% shooting mark with 14 turnovers. They can still steal homecourt advantage by bouncing back for Game 2 on Monday, though the team recognizes how important is is to slow down the Raptors’ top two offensive threats.

Besides Leonard and Siakam, Toronto was supported by Kyle Lowry (nine points, eight assists), Marc Gasol (eight points with tremendous defense) and Serge Ibaka (seven points, six rebounds off the bench) to help seal the Game 1 victory.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Veteran NBA forward Jared Dudley has interest in joining the Celtics this summer, a league source told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Dudley, who’s coming off a successful season with the Nets, is scheduled to reach unrestricted free agency on July 1. Dudley turns 34 this summer and averaged 4.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 20.7 minutes per game with Brooklyn this year, shooting 35% from 3-point range.
  • Marc Gasol is the long-awaited final piece to the Raptors‘ puzzle, Michael Pina of SB Nation contends. Toronto made a surprising deal for Gasol prior to the trade deadline, acquiring a veteran center capable of giving strong play on both ends of the floor. Head coach Nick Nurse has sported a starting lineup that consists of Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Gasol this postseason.
  • Celtics rookie Robert Williams denied receiving money at Texas A&M, despite his name surfacing in a Thursday testimony by financial adviser Marty Blazer that he was given money by agent Christian Dawkins and assistant coach Amir Abdul-Rahim in 2017. “I’ve been saying, never took anything from anybody during my college career,” Williams said on Friday, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports. “Honestly, just trying to focus on these playoffs. I tend to stop social media because it gets to you during playoff time, but, like I said, never took anything from anybody. Hope this goes away as fast possible.”

Nets Notes: Free Agency, Dudley, Russell, Tsai

The Nets‘ 2018/19 campaign came to an end on Tuesday night, as the club lost its fourth straight game to the Sixers and dropped the series by a 4-1 margin. Still, the season has to be considered a success for Brooklyn, a team that wasn’t expected to make the playoffs coming into the year. The Nets’ unexpected postseason berth figures to be one of the franchise’s many selling points as it pursues top free agents this summer, writes Seerat Sohi of Yahoo Sports.

The Nets will have a handful of their own free agents to make decisions on as well, but role players like Jared Dudley recognize that they won’t necessarily be the club’s top priority in July. Dudley, at least, is okay with that, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post relays.

“I loved my New York situation here. … I’d have no problem coming back here. I don’t say that on every exit interview,” Dudley said. “Brooklyn has to do what’s best for them. If I’m them, I’m going big-game hunting for the big fish, then you can fall in line.”

Here’s more on the Nets as their offseason begins:

  • League sources have intimated that D’Angelo Russell will be seeking a maximum-salary contract as a restricted free agent, according to Lewis. It’s not yet known if the Nets will be willing to go that high, or if they’ll be forced to by a rival offer sheet. However, Russell told Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News this week that “everybody is on the same page” regarding his free agency.
  • Nets GM Sean Marks wasn’t the only one to face discipline as a result of his decision to enter the referees’ locker room after the club’s Game 4 loss over the weekend. Brooklyn minority owner Joseph Tsai was fined $35K for tweeting support for Marks (link via The Associated Press). “My partners and I have spoken and the entire Nets ownership group support our GM Sean Marks for protesting the wrong calls and missed calls,” Tsai wrote. “NBA rules are rules and we respect that, but our players and fans expect things to be fair.”
  • In an interesting piece for The Athletic, Michael Scotto spoke to executives, agents, and players about the pros and cons of the contrasting rebuilding models employed by the Nets and Sixers.
  • The trade that sent Jeremy Lin to Atlanta last summer was viewed primarily as a salary dump for the Nets, but the club also acquired the rights to draft-and-stash prospect Isaia Cordinier in the swap. NetsDaily explores whether Cordinier could become a sneaky-useful asset for Brooklyn.

Jimmy Butler, Jared Dudley Fined For Game 4 Scuffle

Sixers guard Jimmy Butler and Nets forward Jared Dudley have each been fined for their involvement in a Game 4 scuffle between the teams on Saturday, the NBA announced today in a press release.

Dudley received a $25K fine for shoving Joel Embiid and escalating an on-court incident which spilled into the stands, while Butler received a $15K fine for pushing Dudley and escalating the matter further. The incident occurred at the 7:42 mark of the third quarter and started when Embiid delivered a flagrant foul to Nets center Jarrett Allen near the baseline.

Both Butler and Dudley were ejected from the game, an advantageous trade-off for Brooklyn that the team couldn’t capitalize on. The Nets wound up losing the game 112-108 and now trail the Sixers 3-1 heading back to Game 5 in Philadelphia this Tuesday.

Embiid managed to keep his composure during the scuffle despite being shoved by Dudley, recognizing his importance to the team and stepping away from the fray.

“I mean, first of all, he’s a nobody,” Embiid said of Dudley after the game. “When opponents try do do stuff like that, that’s just to get us out of the game. I’m too valuable for my team, that’s why I didn’t react.

“I did not do anything, and I didn’t think that was a flagrant foul because I played the ball, too. But enough with that situation. I just have to stay composed and be mature and let it go because my teammates need me more than they need him. I just got to be mature.”