Jared Dudley not surprised by trade to Wizards
WASHINGTON (AP) Forward Jared Dudley said the Washington Wizards were one of the teams he considered before he opted in to the final year of his contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Dudley ended up a Wizard anyway when Washington acquired him in a trade with the Bucks for a future second-round draft pick. The deal was announced Thursday night.
''I liked my situation in Milwaukee, but if they told me I was going to opt-in and go to Washington, I would have opted in the first day because I can't see a situation's that's better for me right now,'' Dudley said during a conference call Friday.
Washington has signed guard Gary Neal, acquired Dudley and agreed to terms with swingman Alan Anderson, who will help replace what was lost when Paul Pierce decided to join the Los Angeles Clippers.
''I knew this could be a possibility once Paul Pierce left,'' Dudley said. ''I think I fit in well.''
The 6-foot-7 Dudley said he can play small forward or stretch the defense with his outside shooting skills as an undersized power forward. He did that last season after Milwaukee's Jabari Parker was injured.
''I could take them off the dribble,'' he said.
The veteran forward averaged 7.2 points and 3.1 rebounds and made 38.5 percent of his 3-point attempts in 72 games last season, his first with the Bucks.
He then decided to exercise his player option for a $4.25 million contract with Milwaukee next season, rather than become a free agent.
Washington was able to take on Dudley's salary without sending any players back thanks to a trade exception it picked up as part of a swap that sent Andre Miller to the Sacramento Kings for Ramon Sessions at the trade deadline in February.
Dudley, who turned 30 on Friday, has averaged 8.5 points and shot 39.6 percent on 3-pointers during his eight-year NBA career, spending time with Charlotte, Phoenix, the Clippers and Milwaukee.
''When I came in I wasn't a 3-point shooter. I was an energy, hustle guy,'' he said. ''I went to Phoenix back in the day with Steve Nash. Had to be able to shoot the 3.''
Now he'll be working with point guard John Wall, who Dudley called ''a one-man fast break.''
Dudley said he's comfortable starting or coming off the bench for the Wizards. He mentioned Washington's Otto Porter as one of the up-and-coming players he'd fit in with.
''That's the beauty of getting older,'' Dudley said. ''You've got to know your role. The older you get, you have a lot of younger guys coming up who have promise.''