ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (AP) — Looking for a fresh start, Jared Dudley couldn’t be happier to have landed with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Milwaukee acquired the veteran forward last week from the Los Angeles Clippers, who also gave up a conditional first-round draft pick, in exchange for Carlos Delfino and Miroslav Radulijca, both of whom were waived this week.
Dudley is looking to bounce back from a rough season in Los Angeles. He appeared in 74 games, starting 43, and averaged 6.9 points and 2.2 rebounds per game while shooting 51.8 percent from the field.
The numbers, though, were skewed, Dudley said, because of a series of nagging knee injuries that hampered him throughout the season.
“It was probably the most injury-plagued season I’ve had,” Dudley said Tuesday at the Bucks’ training facility. “I was trying to sacrifice myself. I told Coach (Doc) Rivers that I couldn’t go, but we had so many injuries he needed me to fight through it.
“I told him I could but I wouldn’t be 100 percent. Obviously, my production wasn’t as well but I was able to give him a body to cover those minutes. Personally, my numbers suffered but for the team, we were able to get that three-spot covered,” Dudley said.
The 29-year-old forward will likely see significant playing time for the Bucks, who finished an NBA-worst 15-67 last season but are rebuilding around a young nucleus that includes second-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, fourth-year center Larry Sanders and No. 2 overall draft pick Jabari Parker. There is a new ownership group and a new coach, Jason Kidd.
“Going from a contender to a team that’s rebuilding, for me, that really doesn’t matter,” Dudley said. “I’ve played in all kinds of situations. As a professional, you have to come in with the right mindset and play the game the right way. This team has a lot going for it with Jabari coming in here . that’s a huge upside.”
A first-round pick of the Charlotte Bobcats — No. 22 overall — in 2007, Dudley was traded to Phoenix midway through his second season and spent his next four seasons with the Suns before he was dealt to the Clippers in a deal that also brought shooting guard J.J. Redick from Milwaukee.
In five NBA seasons, Dudley has played 523 games and averaged 8.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 39.7 percent from beyond the arc.
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