The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly did not offer Jared Dudley a coaching role before he took a job with the Dallas Mavericks this week.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers made it clear to Dudley that they were not holding a roster spot for him, but they didn't try to keep him around as an assistant coach, paving the way for his arrival in Dallas.
Stein added that even if the Lakers offered him a coaching job, though, it likely wouldn't have changed the result since Dallas is giving Dudley the opportunity to be one of head coach Jason Kidd's top three assistants along with Igor Kokoskov and Sean Sweeney.
The 36-year-old Dudley spent 14 seasons as a journeyman NBA player, including the past two with the Lakers.
Dudley appeared in only 57 regular-season games for L.A., averaging 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. He brought value to the team as a veteran leader, however, and was part of the Lakers' championship-winning roster in 2020.
Among those who were hit hard by Dudley's departure was Lakers superstar LeBron James, as evidenced by the following tweets after news of Dudley joining the Mavs broke (Warning: Some language NSFW):
Once his hiring by the Mavericks became official, Dudley tweeted about his excitement regarding his new role and also thanked the Lakers:
Jared Dudley @JaredDudley619
Man what a ride! 14 yr NBA career capped off by winning a NBA championship with the <a href="https://twitter.com/Lakers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lakers</a>! Just want to thank GOD for blessing me, also want to personally thank <a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/AntDavis23?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AntDavis23</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/JeanieBuss?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JeanieBuss</a> and the Lakers organization,Without Bron and AD I don’t join LAL or wing a 💍
While remaining in L.A. as a coach could have made sense for all involved, Dallas may have been the best landing spot for Dudley regardless.
Dudley played under Kidd in 2014-15 when Kidd was the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, plus Kidd was an assistant coach with the Lakers during Dudley's two-year stint in Los Angeles.
That means there should be an instant comfort level for Dudley in Dallas, and it could go a long way toward helping him smoothly transition from player to coach.
Losing Dudley's presence could hurt the Lakers from a locker room perspective, but given that they brought in a number of respected veterans this offseason--including Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore and Wayne Ellington--leadership shouldn't be a problem in 2021-22.