Jeanie Buss was behind Lakers’ decision to part with Jared Dudley?
Jared Dudley might still have been with the Los Angeles Lakers had it not been for the boss upstairs.
The Athletic’s Bill Oram, Shams Charania, and Sam Amick reported Monday that the Lakers’ decision not to offer a new contract to the veteran forward Dudley had “everything to do” with the pressure that Jeanie Buss put on the front office. The report indicates that Buss, who is the Lakers’ president and controlling owner, only wanted to give roster spots to players who could contribute on the court.
The 36-year-old Dudley was a beloved veteran in the locker room who was part of the Lakers’ 2020 NBA championship team. He ultimately joined the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant coach when the Lakers did not bring him back. It was a decision that was unpopular with several Lakers players, including their biggest stars.
In Buss’ defense, Dudley only played 81 total minutes last year, mostly in garbage time. The decision to save the roster spot for a more productive player might end up being the right one for the Lakers in the long-term.