Jared Dudley came to Phoenix as an afterthought.
He was drafted with the 22nd pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, and was essentially a “throw-in” in the deal that brought the Suns Jason Richardson in exchange for Boris Diaw and Raja Bell.
Dudley came to Phoenix with very little expectation and did not see much playing time until the end of his first season with the Suns. The next season, Dudley was the leader of a strong bench that helped push the Suns to the brink of the NBA Finals.
Dudley did not have many strong veteran leaders when he first came into the league, but once he came to Phoenix, he got to learn from Grant Hill.
“One of the things he did was switch the weight room stuff for the Phoenix Suns to where everyone would be in the weight room every day,” Dudley said earlier Tuesday on the Doug and Wolf show. “Even on game days we would wake up early and go to the weight room.
“He showed me the work ethic you have to take on a day in and day out basis and not just in the summer time.”
Dudley earned himself a long-term deal after the playoff run and has become one of the most dependable players on the Suns by only missing four games in the last four and a half seasons.
“Grant Hill showed me how to be a good pro,” Dudley stated. “The knowledge and experience I gained from him was life-changing to my NBA career.”
Dudley saw his playing time increase from just 15 minutes a game from the bench his first season with the Suns to starting 60 of 65 games in the 2011-12 season, Hill’s last with the Suns.