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Jared Dudley already being a leader in Brooklyn, reaches out to Jarrett Allen, D’Angelo Russell

Jazz Suns Basketball

Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley pauses on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, in Phoenix. The Jazz defeated the Suns 129-97. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


While there was a time Jared Dudley was a quality NBA rotation player, that’s not why young teams are bringing him in anymore (although he can still fill a role).

They are paying him for leadership — he has a voice guys will listen to. He will show them how to be professional and what it takes to make it in the league. He’s already showing that in Brooklyn where he has reached out to Jarrett Allen and D’Angelo Russell already, as reported by Anthony Puccio of SB Nation who was at Dudley’s press conference in Brooklyn.

Is Russell a cornerstone? That what he has to prove this season. The No. 2 pick of the 2015 draft is not getting a contract extension from Brooklyn. First, they want to keep their cap space and flexibility heading into next summer so they can chase free agents. Beyond that, they are not sure exactly what they have in Russell and what he is worth. He missed 33 games last season, and while he averaged 20.9 points and 5.7 assists per game before being traded, is that sustainable? Is he a cornerstone piece who should be paid like one?

The Nets are smart to let him become a restricted free agent next summer then let the market decide his value. Then they can decide to match or not.

If they do decide to pay him, Dudley’s help in leading this team will have shone through.