The Brooklyn Nets traded for Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley last week. Less than a week into his Nets tenure, Dudley has made an impact with his new team.
The trade fit both teams with Phoenix saving some salary and Brooklyn gaining a top-35 protected second-round pick for 2021.
Shortly after the trade was announced, there was speculation of a possible buyout of Dudley by the Nets. That speculation was quickly shut down when Dudley said he wants to play for the Nets next season.
It is a smart move for Brooklyn to let Dudley play next season. He can fit as a role player for Brooklyn, bringing veteran experience. In less than one week after Dudley was acquired, he has been active in his veteran leadership role.
On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets held a press conference to introduce Dudley, who first cleared the air with Brooklyn and their fans over a misunderstood tweet dating back to 2012. The tweet sparked anger throughout the Nets fan base and some fans may not give Dudley a pass.
Per to Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily, Dudley explained his reasoning behind the tweet and the misunderstanding behind the meaning.
"If anyone knows me, I feel like I’m half-media, half-player as it is. I was just talking about the situation. I remember one for me was why (Kevin Durant) went to Golden State. So I’m always asking, pushing the envelope of why players do it.It was no disrespect towards Brooklyn as an organization. If anything, I was telling people two years ago I almost signed here. I actually thought … me and my wife were looking at places, as a matter of fact. So for that, I’ve always wanted to be in New York.So there should be no problem."
Dudley handled his explanation very well and should now have a clean slate with his new Brooklyn Nets fans.
As for Dudley already making his presence felt on the team, Dudley explained how he has already reached out to D’Angelo Russell, urging the young guard to become a leader for the Nets.
Nets general manager Sean Marks knew when he acquired Dudley that he can play a huge role not only with leadership but with mentoring the fifth-youngest team in the NBA. Russell is the clear leader for the Brooklyn Nets and their main guy.
Last season, Russell showed he can really light up the scoreboard and run the offense like a charm but his leadership was not as strong.
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Dudley has shown he can be a great mentor for young talented players. While he was on the Phoenix Suns, he was a great teammate to Devin Booker. Booker, who recently signed a max contract extension with Phoenix, learned some great skills and insight from Dudley.
Now that Dudley is already making an attempt to raise Russell’s leadership, he can make the Nets guard not only into a better player on the court, but the main leader for Brooklyn next season.
If a rookie extension deal is not done by October for Russell, he will become a restricted free agent next summer. Dudley can help make Russell worthy of a max contract if Russell has a great season as a player and a leader.
The newest Net also said in Wednesday’s press conference, that he sees Jarrett Allen and Russell as Brooklyn’s cornerstone players for years to come.
To hear Dudley say what he said about Brooklyn and his new teammates is a great sign. Dudley is a player who can be a valuable mentor and knows what it takes for players to reach high levels.
By him setting the bar for Allen and Russell shows he is ready to help these two Nets grow and reach their highest potential. All of this has occurred within the first week of his arrival, which is huge for Marks and his Nets.
This shows Dudley is invested in what Brooklyn is doing. He knows Brooklyn is not a team that has its eyes on winning it all next season. Yes, Brooklyn has confirmed they are playing to win next season and adding Dudley in that mix is beneficial.
He has been on winning teams and knows what it is like to be on a young team.
It will be interesting to see how Dudley helps develop his young Nets teammates, particularly D’Angelo Russell. The addition of Jared Dudley was a good move by Brooklyn and it is worth keeping him in a Brooklyn Nets uniform.