Doc Rivers’ phone is starting to ring a lot more often. The Clippers coach and senior vice president of basketball operations has been fielding more phone calls because it’s officially trade season. The trade deadline is Feb. 20. Players names are bound to come up in conversations with executives around the league, but Rivers said he won’t change his approach inside the locker room. “My job is to coach the team and to make the team better if I can,” he said before Friday’s game. But in some cases, Rivers will have to deal with a player who reacts poorly to hearing his name in trade rumors. Lucky for the Clippers, Jared Dudley isn’t one of those guys. ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted this week that the Clippers are “itchy to make a deal and Jared Dudley, with (playing time) harder to come by and logjam at wing spots, is unexpectedly in play.” Dudley, one of the Clippers’ most active users of social media, saw the tweet. “To be honest with you, it doesn’t bother me at all. As a fan and watching basketball, 99 percent of the time, it doesn’t happen. It’s the ones you don’t hear about,” he said Friday morning. “The two times I’ve been traded, I didn’t even hear about it. Every other time I’ve been in (rumors), it’s never happened. “You look at as a compliment. It means someone wants you. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It goes both ways, to have value. At one point in time, I didn’t know if I had value.” Friday, Dudley was productive, helping the second unit maintain a lead in the second quarter by being active on both ends on the court. Dudley’s name has surfaced for a couple of reasons, beginning with his on-court struggles. Dudley’s shooting a career-low 44.5 percent from the field and averaging only 7.8 points a game. His 3-point percentage (35.7) is the lowest it’s been since his rookie season. Second, because the Clippers are over the salary cap, they cannot take back more salary in a trade than they send out, and Dudley’s three-year deal worth $4.25 million annually is useful in bringing back a significant contract. Dudley’s not a player who measures himself by his numbers, though he knows he has to make more shots. “I know if I score 10 points, I know what our record is. I know the impact I have hitting 3’s because it makes my man stay closer,” Dudley said. “It puts more of a burden on the scouting report when I play well.” The Clippers are 15-1 when Dudley scores 10 or more points.
Clippers' Dudley shrugs off trade speculation
Orange County Register | Feb 8