NBA News: Los Angeles Lakers add veteran depth by signing forward Jared Dudley
- The Lakers add another key veteran piece, as they continue waiting on Kawhi Leonard.
The Los Angeles Lakers continue to add to their roster, signing veteran forward Jared Dudley as a free agent, previously of the Brooklyn Nets. Dudley has been signed for a year at the veteran’s minimum ($2.6 million). The 13-year vet from Boston College is a San Diego native, so he returns close to home, and is excited to be a Laker.
At 6'7, 237lbs, the soon-to-be 34-year-old can play both forward positions, and even some center in small ball scenarios. Ironically, Dudley had one of his most notable games as a Net in a victory versus the Lakers in December, scoring 13 points (including 10 in the fourth quarter). Dudley who has never been known for quickness or athleticism had four layups in the 4th, which flabbergasted then-head coach Luke Walton.
Dudley averaged 4.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 20.7 minutes over 59 games (25 starts) last season. He is known for his ability to defend, take charges, and stretch the floor from 3. Dudley shot 35.1 percent from beyond the arc, adding another shooter to a Lakers team that was next-to-last in the league in 3-point shooting (33.3%).
A good passer of the ball, Dudley has also established himself as something of an enforcer and irritant. He gained notoriety in the first round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, for his criticism of Ben Simmons, and for confrontations with Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler.
The Lakers currently have these players under contract (once the trade for Anthony Davis is made official): LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, rookie Talen Horton-Tucker, Troy Daniels and now Jared Dudley. By signing Daniels and Dudley to minimum deals, they still have enough cap space to pursue Kawhi Leonard in free agency. But while the Lakers, Raptors, and Clippers (as well as the whole NBA) await his decision, it is important for the team to fill out the roster with players that can contribute.Published 03 Jul 2019, 08:35 IST