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Jared Dudley thinks ‘that tampering is at an all-time high during the season’

If the rest of the league is comfortable with tampering during the regular season, expect LeBron James and Anthony Davis to do the same for the Lakers next season.

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2019 NBA All-Star Game Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

After a rough six-year rebuild, the Los Angeles Lakers are once again in a position to compete for a championship after pairing LeBron James with Anthony Davis. While general manager Rob Pelinka and former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson did their part to put the team in the position they’re in now, it’s hard to imagine the Lakers being where they are without a little tender love and tampering.

Unlike the Paul George saga from two years ago, there is no evidence that the Lakers tampered with Davis, however, it’s hard to imagine that Davis, who shares an agent with James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, didn’t have someone in his hear at some point. It’s especially unlikely considering the amount of conversations players have during the regular season, which is when tampering is at an all-time high, according to Jared Dudley (via Ethan Strauss of The Athletic):

What did you think of this overall crazy free agency that we just saw?

I just think that tampering is at an all-time high during the season. I seen that even when guys are playing. It’s hard to even be focused. You hear in December, Kyrie talking to Spencer (Dinwiddie), you got KD, what he’s thinking about. Kawhi (Leonard), it even came out the other day, Paul George talking about even wanting to play with him since when he was in San Antonio and George was in Indiana. These guys, they talk, they don’t mind calling. So what you got to do is start playing the game. USA Basketball is huge for networking and you got to have a start.

I’m not surprised players almost want shorter contracts now. And because of that, players have more power. Players are flexing it. We’re doing that and it’s now gotten to a point where someone like Kawhi changes the game, says hey, I’m only playing 65 games and he’s telling you before. He’s telling you how he’s going to play. I love it to a certain degree. Owners are making money, players are making money. I think that, you know, the old generation probably doesn’t like it because there’s no team.

With two superstar recruiters in James and Davis, the Lakers could be the beneficiaries of in-season tampering in the summers to come. While it might not get them another All-Star next year, it could give them an inside track on a player to carry the torch from James in 2021 like Bradley Beal or Giannis Antetokounmpo.

One thing’s for certain: Timofey Mozgov won’t be the first signing the Lakers make in free agency as long as James and Davis are around.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.

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