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Dallas Mavericks: Why Jared Dudley could be their most important acquisition

Dallas Mavericks Jared Dudley
Dallas Mavericks Jared Dudley / John McCoy/Getty Images
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Dallas Mavericks, Jared Dudley
Dallas Mavericks Jared Dudley / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks fill a massive hole by adding Jared Dudley to coaching staff

The 36-year-old veteran thought he would be back with the Lakers this season as they chased another championship. Dudley wanted to return. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook all reportedly pushed management to bring him back, but the front office decided against it.

The Mavericks made the same mistake during training camp in 2020 when they let J.J. Barea go and kept Wesley Iwundu in their final roster spot. Dallas missed Barea’s ability to mend relationships, offer advice from the bench, and be a coach on the floor as Iwundu brought minor on-court production and was traded to the Pelicans at the deadline. Veterans matter more than their stats suggest.

James called Dudley a “diamond in the rough for a championship team” because of his ability to fill a lot of necessary roles. The Heat find value in this area as they continue to re-sign Udonis Haslem, despite him playing just 323 total regular-season minutes over the last five seasons combined.

Dudley brings his many hats to the front of the Mavericks bench this season. He becomes more important when considering Kidd’s coaching style. The Hall of Fame point guard is known for being hard on his players, and that will continue in Dallas. Not every player responds to that type of leadership, but Dudley could come in and mend the fences. He is likely the one working with role players and keeping everyone on the same page.