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Wizards fail to make offer to Jared Dudley so he returns to Suns

Wizards fail to make offer to Jared Dudley so he returns to Suns

Jared Dudley's one season with the Wizards went sour, and now the veteran forward is heading back to his former team, the Phoenix Suns, after signing what league sources told CSNmidatlantic.com is for three years and $30 million. 

The Wizards, Dudley told CSN late Friday night, didn't make a strong push to retain him. They made one phone call at the start of free agency but never made him an actual offer. 

Dudley was one of the free agents the Wizards had strongly considered retaining -- Alan Anderson and Garrett Temple are the others -- after a 41-41 season. Dudley made it clear in another interview with CSN before free agency opened that he would take the best offer available. 

Dudley, who had surgery to repair a bulging disk in his back last summer, was relied on more heavily than expected as he averaged 7.9 points and 3.5 rebounds. He also shot 42% from three-point range, the second-best accuracy of his nine-year career.

He was quickly thrust into a starting role when Kris Humphries didn't work out as the "stretch" option at power forward. Dudley was undersized to handle true power forwards on the low block and not athletic enough to switch out on speedy guards for pick-and-rolls.

His suggestions to fix a struggling defense fell on deaf ears with then-coach Randy Wittman, who was fired after the regular-season finale April 13. Their relationship imploded after a 100-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers on March 5, the first in what would prove to be a season-killing five-game losing streak. 

Dudley had been critical of Wittman's lack of in-game adjustments previously but went into Wittman's office to talk postgame. He was shunned, multiple persons told CSN at the time, including Dudley, and at that point Wittman had completely lost the locker room. What followed were embarrassing losses in a non-effort vs. the Utah Jazz then at the Denver Nuggets.

Scott Brooks has taken over the team but Dudley will be 31 by the time the 2016-17 season starts and wanted security. He wasn't willing to take reduced pay from his $4.2 million salary in Washington. 

Now Dudley more than doubled that per year and returns to where he played from 2009-13. The Suns had Steve Nash and Grant Hill at that time and advanced to the conference finals. The Suns, who were 23-59 last season, are rebuilding. 



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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

USA Today Sports Images

Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.

Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.

"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."


"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."

Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.


Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.

"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.

Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.

Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!