On July 6th the Suns signed the Ariza to a one-year deal worth $15 million. Two weeks later Dudley was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets along with a protected second-round pick in 2021 for Darrell Arthur.
While Dudley was optimistic about the Suns future, he indicated that the journey is not without it’s obstacles.
“I’m glad Booker developed into the player he is. I think Josh Jackson has it. I think it paid off: you get a number one pick in Deandre (Ayton). I think the future is bright. I just think for a veteran player, Ariza coming in, he might see a little bit of that (lack of clear direction). I think that sometimes it might get frustrating of not seeing the direction. As a player, seeing the direction, you can embrace it. It was just tough to see at times.”
We’ve waited plenty long for the Suns to return to a place on relevance in the NBA landscape. Dudley says we’ll have to wait longer to see if the Suns’ plan of accumulating draft picks rather than chase high-dollar free agents, is successful.
“My thing is, we’ll see five years down the road if that’s not the right decision,” Dudley told Wojnarowski. “Players (in free agency) will play in Phoenix. They could have had Kyrie. Now you’re basing (future success) on, if Deandre Ayton or Josh Jackson doesn’t hit, it’s tough now to reach that pinnacle unless they’re traded for a star.”
Plenty of teams don’t hit rock bottom like the Suns. They continue to reload and stay close to the postseason race. Things are different in Phoenix.
“In Phoenix they knew it was going to take a couple years. You keep drafting guys, over and over and over … you don’t get a big fish.”