Jared Dudley

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.

Lakers Notes: Schroder, Davis, Dudley, Cap Room

Dennis Schröder expects to start with the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Schroder, who was acquired from the Thunder, said that was addressed by his representatives before the trade was completed. “I think my agent talked to the organization (about starting) before they was trading me,” he said “So, that’s that.” Schroder served a sixth-man role with Oklahoma City. His main competition for a starting job would presumably be Alex Caruso, though LeBron James is the de facto point guard and led the league in assists last season.

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Anthony Davis, who remains an unrestricted free agent, will meet with the team on Tuesday, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Davis, who will joined by agent Rich Paul, is widely expected to sign a max deal of undetermined length during training camp.
  • Davis might wait to see if Giannis Antetokounmpo signs an extension with Milwaukee before he decides how to structure his contract, Brian Windhorst of ESPN suggests (video link). The Lakers could have a significant amount of cap flexibility if Davis signs a two-year contract with a player option, which would help them pursue the two-time MVP.  However, Antekounmpo doesn’t have to make a decision until December 21 and it’s doubtful Davis will want to wait that long.
  • Jared Dudley has agreed to re-sign for one more season and he has the power to block a trade under the one-year Bird rule, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • Dudley’s veteran minimum deal will leave the Lakers $2.9MM below the hard cap, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (Twitter link). That would allow the club to add a player in mid-January or in early April after buyouts are executed around the league.

Jared Dudley Signs One-Year Contract With Lakers

DECEMBER 1: The Lakers’ signing of Dudley is now official, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

NOVEMBER 30: Veteran forward Jared Dudley will sign a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract with the defending champion Lakers, Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN tweet.

Dudley’s interest in rejoining the Lakers was reported earlier this month. The veteran’s minimum this season is $2,564,753.

Dudley, 35, has bounced around the league but won a ring this summer in Orlando. He appeared in 45 regular-season games with the Lakers, averaging 1.5 PPG and 1.2 RPG in 8.1 MPG. He also saw action in nine postseason games but did not score.

He’s also played for the Suns, Hornets, Clippers, Bucks, Wizards and Nets during a journeyman career that has spanned 892 games.

He’s well-respected in the locker room and adds another veteran option for coach Frank Vogel.

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.