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Los Angeles Lakers reserve Jared Dudley out with torn MCL

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Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson pick their NBA MVP for the first half of the season, featuring the Nuggets' Nikola Jokić and the 76ers' Joel Embiid.

LeBron James has called Jared Dudley one of his favorite teammates. Other teammates and the coaching staff agreed, which is why the Lakers brought Dudley back this season. It’s not what Dudley brings on the court — he’s played in a total of 76 minutes this season across 11 games — his value is on the bench and in the locker room.

Which is why this news hit the team hard: “In addition to a right knee contusion, Jared Dudley has been diagnosed with a right MCL tear,” the Lakers announced.

Dudley is still evaluating treatment options, according to the team.

If the Lakers make a trade or pick up players through the buyout process and are forced to clear a roster spot, Dudley becomes a logical choice on one level now. However, they would want to find a way to keep him around the team and on the bench, where he provides real value to the roster.