Jared Dudley talks development of Suns’ youth, process of mentoring

Apr 6, 2017, 3:20 PM | Updated: 3:37 pm
Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo (11) and Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley vie for the ball du...

Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo (11) and Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley vie for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 17, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley, a 10-year NBA veteran, sees both the progress and the challenges of the young players that surround him on the roster.

Appearing on Arizona Sports 98.7  FM‘s Bickley & Marrota , Dudley discussed how the youth of the team affected the team in its 120-11 loss to the Warriors on Wednesday.

“It’s tough when you’re young,” Dudley said. “Everyone wants to score, and you’ve gotta have roles, you’ve gotta know timing of when a good shot is, defensively you have to hold each other accountable. They’re learning on the fly and it’s been an up-and-down battle.”

At 31, Dudley is the fourth-oldest player on the Suns roster, which features eight players younger than 25. The biggest name of the bunch is certainly 20-year-old Devin Booker, who Dudley says has the chance to be a future All-Star. However, Dudley also shared thoughts on where Booker can improve.

“I already told him next year you’ve got to average five assists,’ Dudley said. “You and Bledsoe can’t play 35 minutes and not average for both of you 15 assists, because the ball’s in your hand 90 percent of the time. That’s something they have to realize.”

Booker, who is averaging 3.2 assists per game this season, is part of another area Dudley wants to see the young players improve on. He has 11 technical fouls this season, just ahead of 10 by Marquese Chriss. While Dudley likes the edge, he thinks the young guys need to dial it back.

“It can’t be to the point where you’re at double-digit technical fouls this early in your career,” Dudley said. “Maybe when you’re older and you’re trying to get a call, but right now you’ve just gotta be playing the game. You’ve gotta pay your dues and stuff like that.”

Dudley is in the first year of a three-year, $30 million contract he signed in July. The Boston College alum is averaging 6.8 points and 3,5 rebounds this season in 62 games. Dudley has been a regular part of the rotation, but played in only one game between Dec. 26, 2016 and Jan. 24, 2017 in order to clear space for the young guys.

For Dudley, who has taken this season as a chance to help the players improve, not playing was a major challenge. He feels that while he knows losing minutes is part of the process, he thinks he can be more useful while playing.

“When you’re a vocal leader, you can help, but you can help young players more by playing, by showing when you’re out there,” Dudley said. “They play better when I’m on the floor because I’m not looking for my shot, I’m looking to make the right play. I did that with Milwaukee and by four or five months later, Giannis and these other guys started becoming more vocal and I didn’t need to do that.”


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams, right, talks with guard Cameron Payne during the first half of t...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns keeping practice gym lively leading up to season opener

The Phoenix Suns are using the right balance in their week of practices between the preseason and regular season.
20 hours ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chasson Randle (4) passes as Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ Elleby (16) looks o...
Wills Rice

Phoenix Suns waive guard Chasson Randle, putting roster at 15 players

With the regular season ready to tip-off on Wednesday, the Phoenix Suns waived guard Chasson Randle on Saturday, the team announced.
20 hours ago
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a three-point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during...
Kellan Olson

Mikal Bridges waiting like all of us for potential contract extension with Suns

When Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges was discussing a potential new contract extension on Friday, a word he kept coming back to was waiting.
2 days ago
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives to the basket between Phoenix Suns center...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s Marks: Suns deserve F grade if they don’t extend Ayton or Bridges

ESPN's Bobby Marks finds the lack of an extension for Mikal Bridges or Deandre Ayton concerning days before the deadline.
2 days ago
Photo courtesy: Phoenix Suns...
Nicholas Hodell

Footprint Center formally dedicated before NBA/WNBA doubleheader

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the Footprint Center on Wednesday to dedicate and formally open the doors to the transformed arena.
3 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks the ball over Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers  durin...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s Lowe places Suns in top-10 of League Pass Rankings

There's more potential for entertainment via the Phoenix Suns this season. ESPN's Zach Lowe has them in the top-10 of his annual rankings.
3 days ago
Jared Dudley talks development of Suns’ youth, process of mentoring