PHOENIX SUNS

Devin Booker, other young Suns react to Jared Dudley trade

Jul 21, 2018, 2:11 PM
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) and Jared Dudley look at the video screen after a foul was call...

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) and Jared Dudley look at the video screen after a foul was called on teammate TJ Warren during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, in Houston. Houston won 113-102. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

At first, forward Jared Dudley tweeted that he had been asleep when the trade was announced that would send him from Phoenix to Brooklyn.

Then, Dudley responded to a fan who told the forward he “will always be a Phoenix sun [sic]” with one word: “Always.”

A few hours later, he was able to put his thoughts into words and tweet them out.

Dudley leaves the Suns after two stints totaling seven seasons with the franchise. Over the latter years, his role changed from a high-energy glue guy to a veteran leader.

“I was here more of a mentor role, to help bridge the gap and try to teach guys even though the record might not show it, it’s showing how to be professional, teaching them how to do the right work ethic, and then seeing the game from a different point of view,” Dudley said Friday on Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

“That’s what I tried to do and I think that you’ll see that in a couple of these other guys.”

Though the team’s record didn’t improve over Dudley’s second stint in Phoenix, some young players tweeted their support for the veteran after the move was made.

Dudley said that Booker has more pressure to step up and be a vocal leader, but he thinks the young star is ready to take the leap.

“He has to know to learn the personalities of the team, with new guys coming in, who to push, who to be encouraging with,” Dudley said. “He understands that … He has a good understanding of just life, and understanding people, understanding his role.”

Alan Williams, who is no longer on the Suns, also tweeted at Dudley. A Phoenix native, Williams would have been a teenager watching the team during Dudley’s first stint on the Suns.

Marquese Chriss sent a tweet at Dudley, who responded with one last piece of advice.

Now, Dudley leaves Phoenix for Brooklyn hoping he can continue to provide a mentor role while seeing an increase of minutes on the court.

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