For a player out of the playoff picture, Jared Dudley had quite the mid-May Thursday afternoon.
The Dudley vs. Bayless bout certainly created more draw as he broke down everyone from LeBron James to Tiger Woods to Bernard Hopkins.
It was his online chat, however, where Dudley gave some insight to Suns fans about his role in Phoenix and what the organization needs to do to be successful in the future.
Although it’s almost common knowledge that the Suns need a scoring big man in order to return to form, it only strengthened the notion when Dudley pointed to that void on several occasions.
When asked what the Suns need to become a playoff contender again, Dudley answered, “They need to bring another big man in, post scoring. Depending on free agency, if we lose people, we might need another guard.” He later added that the Suns need to add “front court depth.”
Dudley also made it clear that the Suns simply don’t have the talent to become an elite NBA team, saying, “Realistically, for that to happen, we need to bring in another key key player that’s an all star. You need a few all stars on teams to win. We need a player to transition to it or bring in another player.”
Although this seems common knowledge to each and every Suns fan, it’s powerful to see a player like Dudley say (or type) it so candidly. Phoenix simply wasn’t going to win with such a mismatched roster last season, and until they get an All-Star caliber four they’re going to remain mediocre.
Dudley also disproved the notion that he preferred coming off of the bench as an energy guy. In 15 games as a starter last season Dudley averaged 16.3 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 46.4 percent from three.
When he posted 33 and 27 against the Spurs and Heat, respectively, it became clear that Dudley has what it takes to start on the wing in the NBA, and he’s ready to relish that role.
“I would like to start, at this point in my career,” Dudley said. “I think you have to earn it. Being a bench player and coming and scoring, I think you earn it. Toward the end of the season, I got comfortable starting in my 4th year in the NBA.”
Finally for his last piece of Suns-relevant information, Dudley weighed in on the future of Grant Hill and Steve Nash.
“I could easily see (Hill) playing at least two more,” Dudley said. “And Steve, I could see him staying and being a Sun until he retires.”
Suns-less All-NBA teams
As Paul Coro pointed out, the Phoenix Suns finished with zero players on each of the three All-NBA teams for the first time since 2004. Steve Nash was the only candidate as he led the NBA in assists (11.4 per game), but he only received 17 points and zero first-team votes to become the third assist champ since a third team was added in 1989 to miss out on all three All-NBA teams.
Here’s a look at the 2010-11 All-NBA teams: