UPDATE: It now appears to be an almost certainly done deal that Jared Dudley will be a part of the Mavericks coaching staff next season as Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on the matter Tuesday afternoon.
After 14 NBA seasons, Jared Dudley has agreed to a deal to become an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Dudley will be a front of the bench assistant under new head coach Jason Kidd.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 24, 2021
LeBron James congratulated Dudley on Twitter, but he made it clear that he isn’t happy that Dudley will no longer be around in the Lakers’ locker room.
Congrats to my guy if this true, which is probably is! But ♂️ man!! FUCK— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2021
Excuse my language but still one hurt!! For many reasons that you wouldn’t understand. ♂️ ♂️ ♂️ ♂️ ♂️— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2021
ORIGINAL: With his playing days coming to an end, veteran forward Jared Dudley appears set to transition full-time to coaching next season. Dudley, who had become an important voice on the Lakers roster in his two seasons in Los Angeles, is reportedly nearing a deal to join the Dallas Mavericks coaching staff next season, according to veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein.
The move comes after reports last week that Dudley’s time in Los Angeles was likely over with the Lakers looking to fill out their roster with more on-court contributors while also leaving open a roster spot heading into the season.
With the Lakers no longer expected to bring him back as a player, as @ChrisBHaynes reported last week, Dallas has pursued Dudley to begin his coaching career in a prominent role on Jason Kidd’s staff.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 24, 2021
Kidd and Dudley, of course, worked together in L.A. for the past two seasons. https://t.co/YmC5NevbFd
Dudley’s ties to new Mavs head coach Jason Kidd are two-fold. Kidd, obviously, served as an assistant coach for the last two seasons in Los Angeles with Dudley on the roster as well. Dudley also spent one season in Milwaukee earlier in his career in 2014-15 under then Bucks head coach Kidd.
Earlier this summer, Dudley came to Kidd’s defense online after excerpts of anecdotes of Kidd’s time in Milwaukee surfaced from the new book “Giannis.”
Jason Kidd was a great coach in Milwaukee. The man single handedly change the culture.. One of the biggest turn arounds from one year to the next in NBA history. I personally saw what he did for Middleton and Giannis. He laid the foundation for them winning the chip this year.. https://t.co/VkaUVAHFph— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) August 11, 2021
A transition into a coaching role always seemed like the likely next step for Dudley in his career, though it does seem a little surprising and abrupt that his tenure in Los Angeles will come to an end this summer. Dudley helped recruit Russell Westbrook to the Lakers earlier this summer and joined LeBron James in an apparent farewell for Kyle Kuzma following the trade.
The next step in Dudley’s career was always going to be a coaching role. While it’s a little surprising that won’t be with the Lakers, it makes sense he’ll join Jason Kidd in Dallas. Given that much of his last two years were spent as a pseudo coach in an NBA jersey, it should be a fairly seamless transition for Dudley into a suit with a new label on the bench.