A Familiar Face

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Published: June 25, 2016

If you haven’t already, you should read my piece on why replacing the wings will be incredibly important this offseason. My last suggestion for fixing the issue was getting a wing facilitator. Today I want to talk more about a shooter, and it is a name that has been talked about quite a bit by Pelicans fans.

Jared Dudley (UFA)

Following a similar tone to my other potential free agent profile posted today, Jared Dudley has never been a guy to put up big numbers nor make the big bucks. He doesn’t have elite athleticism nor is he an elite defender. But he is a solid pro with years of starting experience who doesn’t have to play starters’ minutes. He’ll be 31 this upcoming season, but he still has many productive years left in the league because of his game: he is incredibly smart, unselfish, and doesn’t rely on athleticism. This has allowed him to have one of the most statistically productive seasons he’s ever had as a pro at 30 coming off back surgery. Think about that.

Dudley has rep in the league as a 9-year vet. He is dedicated to the sport and knows how to do the little things that help the team win. He won’t just work every second he is on the floor, he’ll work from the moment he puts on his sneakers.  He is the definition of “glue-guy.”

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Dudley and Alvin Gentry go way back. After playing his first year in Charlotte, Dudley was traded to Phoenix 20 games into the 2008-09 season, the same season Gentry would take over as head coach for Terry Porter. The two would stay in Phoenix for the next 4 seasons (3 and 1/2 for Gentry). Even the next season after Gentry was fired Dudley would follow him to the Clippers, where Gentry served as an assistant under Doc Rivers. Here is what their offenses looked like the ~5 seasons the duo were together:

 

2008-09 (31 games together): 1st in points/game, 2nd in Ortg
2009-10: 1st in points/game, 1st in Ortg
20010-11: 4th in points/game, 9th Ortg
2011-12: 8th in points/game, 9th in Ortg
2012-13 (41 games): 21st in points/game, 29th in Ortg
2013-14 (LAC): 1st in points/game, 1st in Ortg

FYI The decline in those Phoenix Suns teams is due to the mass exodus of the top talent and core pieces (Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Nash, Channing Frye, Marcin Gortant to name a few).

It is safe to say Dudley knows Gentry’s system and is a great fit in it. He is a willing and smart passer. He never stops moving on offense, but is very decisive in his movements. Plus he is a great shooter. Career 40% from beyond the arc and getting better: he shot 42% this past season in Washington, and 47.8% from the field, the 2nd best mark of his career.

You don’t have to worry about Dudley being a huge liability on one end of the court, like so many other New Orleans wings in recent memory. At 6’7″, 225lbs, Dudley is another guy who can effective guard multiple positions on defense. He isn’t a lock down defender, but he has always been a plus on that side of the court because of his IQ and work ethic. He might get blown by every now and then, but he won’t blow his assignment. He spent the last two seasons in Milwaukee and Washington playing a good deal of small ball 4, and though he wasn’t great at defending 4’s by any measure, he showed that he was competent enough at it that the strategy was a viable option.

“For me, the two things I wanted to basically show this year, for one, I wanted to show that I was healthy and show I could play the four”

At 31 years old Dudley has publicly stated he’ll be seeking financial security above all else this summer. A 3 or 4 year deal at around 7-10mil/year should be enough to lure the wing’s services to New Orleans.

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