Jared Dudley is back in a Phoenix Suns uniform. So far he is saying and doing all the right things.
As a guest on the Doug and Wolf show recently, Dudley made clear that his new teammate Devin Booker is the next star of the Suns.
“You need to stars to win in this league. When we won, we had Amar’e and Steve,” Dudley said. “So they’ve done a good job drafting Devin Booker. That’s their next star. And I’ve seen him. He has the work ethic and the talent for that.”
The outspoken Suns forward is pragmatic, and knows that if the Suns are to recapture the glory of the Nash/Stoudemire era, and if Booker is going to continue to evolve into the face of the franchise, Phoenix will need to find success with at least one of its picks from this summer’s NBA Draft.
“Now they’ve had two top-10 picks. But they have to hit on at least one of them. If you find another star to put next to Devin, then it’s easy to find role players. You can find role players everywhere, but you can’t find stars everywhere.”
He’s not wrong about role players. Phoenix has had little else for the past several seasons. Dudley knows that it will take time for Dragan Bender and/or Marquese Chriss to be ready to share the spotlight with Booker.
“I don’t think they want to throw the young kids to the wolves the first game,” Dudley said. “So I’m here to help out on the floor with knowing how to play basketball the right way.”
Dudley also references “playing hard,” which would be a welcome return to a more enjoyable time for Phoenix Suns fans.
“Yes, we’re in a transition mode, but fans have a lot to be excited for in the future because you’re going to have these kids for a long time,” Dudley said. “That’s why I’m here not just as a player, but to help these kids develop into stars. So yeah, I do see it turning. But there’s one thing I know, if you’re a Suns fan, know that win or lose, this team will play hard every night.”
Let’s hope he’s right. The Suns get started on the 2016-17 campaign when the Sacramento Kings visit Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 26th.