For much of the offseason, it appeared that the Los Angeles Lakers were saving a roster spot for Jared Dudley. Though the veteran forward doesn’t play many minutes, he’s become an important part of the team. His veteran leadership and basketball knowledge have made him a valuable asset in the past.
However, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports recently reported that Dudley’s days with the Lakers were likely over. With the writing on the wall, his playing could days be over altogether. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Dudley has agreed to join the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant coach.
This offseason, the Mavericks hired Jason Kidd away from the Lakers to take over as head coach. Kidd is very familiar with Dudley as they’ve spent the last two years in Los Angeles together. He clearly knows what the forward can bring to the table. This is a logical next move for Dudley.
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Dudley Expressed Interest in Coaching Earlier This Year
Dudley making the transition to coaching doesn’t come as much of a surprise. He hasn’t been an impact player on the court in years but has always remained a valuable resource for other players. It should be a relatively easy transition for him to make.
“It’s coach or GM, that’s what it is,” Dudley said. “I’m leaning towards coaching just because if you get fired, you can be an assistant. I could go into TV. General manager is a little different. I would prefer to be able to control the team like a general manager, but it’s different because once you get fired from being a GM, can you be an assistant GM? It’s tough, man, and you’ve got to work your way up, just like coaching.”
Going from playing to being a general manager wasn’t going to be a likely transition. Getting some experience in coaching is a wise move for Dudley to make.
Another Former Laker Just Landed a Coaching Job
Dudley wasn’t the only former Laker to land a coaching job this week. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Nick Van Exel has been hired as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks.
Van Exel had a successful five-year run with the Lakers from 1993 to 1998 and even made an All-Star game in 1998. He ended his playing career in 2006 and got into coaching in 2019. This will actually be his second stint as an assistant coach for the Hawks. He was with the team from 2010 to 2012. He took the last couple of seasons off but will now get back to coaching on Nate McMillan’s staff. The Hawks have a solid team so this is a strong opportunity for the former All-Star guard.