UPDATE: Jared Dudley has signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Suns. The original post is below.
The top targets in the free agency are flying off the shelves, and we’re quickly reaching the point where the Wizards will have to start using their cap space on options to shore up their depth. Based on early reports, it looks like combo forward is one of the areas they’ll look to address:
Other teams in addition to #Twolves to call on Deng tonight: Boston, Miami, and Washington. Utah expected to eventually.— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) July 1, 2016
Brooklyn, Utah and Phoenix (again), sources say, are among the teams after vet swingman Jared Dudley, with Washington also still in the mix— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2016
Wizards were first team to call Jared Dudley after free agency started, per sources. They want him back; other teams trying to pry him away.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 1, 2016
Washington’s interest in both players is not surprising. While Markieff Morris proved to be a great boost for the team’s defense last season, they could use someone to back with a more reliable outside shot to back him up. Last season, Deng shot 34.4 percent from beyond the arc with Miami. Dudley shot 42.0 percent.
All things considered, it wouldn’t be surprising if Dudley is Washington’s preferred target right now. Deng is a better overall player at this point in his career, but he’s older and will probably be more expensive than Dudley. Plus, if the Wizards kept Dudley, they’d have a mentor for Markieff Morris who has spent time with him in Washington and Phoenix.