The Dallas Mavericks will be a mix of new and old this season. Owner Mark Cuban is still the team’s top dog, and their roster is virtually unchanged save for adding three role players, but the leadership is quite different. Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle both departed after nearly four decades combined with the franchise. Jason Kidd is now the head coach, and he brought virtually an entire new staff with him.
The Mavericks latest addition may prove to be the most important. Kidd convinced Jared Dudley to retire from playing and join his staff in a front of the bench role. Dudley has 14 years of experience in the NBA and a championship ring as he takes on his first coaching gig, but that does not tell the whole story of his impact on seven different franchises since joining the league in 2007.
In the last two seasons combined, Dudley played a total of 445 regular season minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers, but all the players wanted him back. The veteran provides things that are impossible to quantify to the stat sheet, and they are in areas the Mavericks have overlooked in recent years. Here is why Dudley’s intangibles have him in the running for Dallas's most important acquisition of the offseason.
Why Jared Dudley could be the Dallas Mavericks most important acquisition
LeBron James reacted to breaking news of Dudley joining the Mavs on Twitter with utter dismay. Warning, his tweets feature some explicit language.
Bill Plaschke dove deeper into the topic for the LA Times, where he describes the film sessions, leadership, and ability to manage personalities that makes Dudley special. No words sum up what he brings better than his own.
"“When people say I’m a locker room presence, my job was way more than a locker room presence. You’re a guidance counselor, a relationship expert… I’m the middle man that brings it all together.”"- Jared Dudley
Front offices do not always value that type of production, but it is a massive part of helping a team win.