Lakers Strike 1-Year Deal With Veteran Free Agent

rob pelinka

Getty Rob Pelinka of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers are set to look like a very different team this season but they’ve made an effort to keep some role players around. There never really any doubt that Jared Dudley was going to run it back with the team but the two sides have waited quite a while to strike a deal. Well, the wait is over as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the Lakers have signed him to a one-year deal.

Dudley only averaged eight minutes a game last season and his time as an effective player is likely over. However, he’s been very valuable as a veteran leader for the team. Dudley has a wealth of experience and knowledge about the game. While he’s not going to play much, he does provide value. With so many new pieces coming in for the Lakers, it was wise to keep a guy like Dudley around. He’s a great person to have help acclimate new guys to the roster.

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Dudley Reacts to News

Dudley knows that he’s not an impact player on the court for this team but he has embraced the role with the Lakers. He had the perfect reaction to the news that he’s sticking around.

After 14 seasons in the NBA, Dudley finally won his first championship. He also got to do it while playing for a team that only plays a couple of hours north of where he grew up in San Diego. He could’ve probably gone to another team and play more minutes but now he gets to stick around in Los Angeles and compete for championships.

Was It a Good Idea for Lakers to Make Changes?

With Dudley re-signing, he joins Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Markieff Morris as the only Lakers free agents who decided to stay. Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley decided to sign elsewhere while JaVale McGee, Danny Green and Quinn Cook were either cut or traded.

The temptation to simply run things back after a championship season had to be tempting but Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka proved that he’s not content with staying put. On paper, it looks like the Lakers have an even more talented roster than they did last season.

Rondo and Howard stepped up in the playoffs but both are getting older and have injury histories. Plus, Dennis Schroder is a better player than Rondo right now and Marc Gasol is a more versatile big man than Howard. Losing Bradley could be a bit of a hit but he didn’t even play in the playoffs so they’ll be fine without him.

The only concern is that the Lakers are less athletic at center and it’s unclear who Gasol’s backup will be right now. Montrezl Harrell is the likely candidate but he’s very small for a center. The team also still doesn’t have an elite 3-point shooter. Wesley Matthews is about as good as Green from three and Gasol is infinitely better than Howard or McGee. That doesn’t change the fact that this team probably still won’t be that great from beyond the arc this season.

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