After suffering a huge disappointment in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to change the way they built their roster this summer. Instead of surrounding LeBron James and Anthony Davis with playmakers, the Lakers signed veterans who could help them improve their floor spacing. One of the Lakers’ newest acquisitions is veteran forward Jared Dudley.
From the time he inked a veteran minimum deal, Jared Dudley has said on numerous occasions that he’s willing to do everything he can just to help the Lakers win the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, aside from bringing home the Larry O’Brien trophy to Los Angeles, Dudley revealed that there is another thing that he wants to accomplish in his stint with the Lakers, which is to turn Kyle Kuzma into an All-Star caliber player.
“We play the same position. What can I do off the court to help him get to his full potential?” Dudley asked rhetorically while explaining why he had zeroed in on helping Kuzma, according to SB Nation’s Silver Screen and Roll. “Everyone knows about LeBron and Anthony Davis, but Kyle Kuzma is really the key for us. He’s the one that has the potential that is untapped to where he could become an All-Star player.”
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 30, 2019
Jared Dudley may have spent most of his NBA career serving as a sidekick to NBA superstars, but he has also played a major role in helping players reach their full potential. Some of the players Dudley reportedly mentored or helped in their development include Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and the most recent, D’Angelo Russell of the Golden State Warriors.
“I did it with D’Angelo Russell where he was benched in fourth quarters and I would watch film with him on the plane, help him expand and become an All-Star,” Dudley said.
It’s easy to understand why Jared Dudley desperately wants to help Kyle Kuzma become an All-Star caliber player. Though the Lakers have superstars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Dudley strongly believes that Kuzma’s development will be the key for the Purple and Gold in the 2019-20 NBA season. The Lakers may have failed to acquire Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 NBA free agency, but most people think that they already have a third superstar behind James and Davis in Kuzma.
Having a mentor like Jared Dudley will undeniably help Kyle Kuzma reach that level. Aside from improving his performance on both ends of the floor, Dudley could also teach Kuzma how to efficiently play alongside other NBA superstars and how to make an impact in the game even without scoring.