Los Angeles Lakers: Jared Dudley has filled role well

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers signed veteran Jared Dudley to fill a specific leadership role on the team and he has done it well throughout the season.

The Los Angeles Lakers have had one heck of a year so far as they are 49-14. One player who has been more important than the stat sheet shows is Jared Dudley.

In fact, Dudley hasn’t even played in some games. Dudley has made appearances in 40 of 63 games.

In those games, he is averaging only 7.8 minutes and putting up averages of 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds. Strangely enough, he leads the Lakers in 3-point shooting (47 percent) as he has made 16-of-34 from distance.

This is the role he envisioned when signing in the offseason. Jared Dudley was signed to a one-year, $2.6 million contract to bring leadership and a locker room presence. The forward is at the end of his career at 34-years old.

The Lakers need him more off the court than they do on the court. Dudley is a respected player who knows what it takes to win.

As an individual, he had success as a 3-and-D forward with the Phoenix Suns. From 2010-13 he was scoring 11-12 points a night on nearly 40 percent from deep.

In fact, he played against the Lakers in the 2010 season in the Western Conference Finals. The Kobe Bryant led Lakers went on to beat the Suns in six games. In that series, he averaged eight points on an impressive 45 percent from deep.

On a team, with multiple superstars and with all eyes on the Lakers it’s important to have a player like Dudley. You can count on Dudley to be ready when and if his number is called, to stand up for his teammates, and to bring some toughness. He has checked all those boxes all year.

If the season continues don’t be surprised if we see Jared Dudley in some playoff action.

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Last season Dudley had some terrific moments on defense when the Brooklyn Nets used him to defend Ben Simmons.