September 25, 2016 | 8:38 am EDT Update
“Boston never contacted me, but I made it known I was interested in them,” said Dudley, who shot 42 percent on 3-pointers for Washington last season. He believed he fit a need, but understood the club wants to give minutes to rookie Jaylen Brown.
During the offseason, McLemore blocked out rumors of a possible trade. “I’ve been really focused on myself this summer … ” he said. “I let my agent, I let my manager handle all the front-office business while I focused on Ben. … I just told my team to keep me updated on anything dealing with me so I can continue to be a pro and focused on my game.” Despite being visibly down for stretches of last season when his playing time fluctuated, McLemore said his confidence is “off the charts, higher than it’s ever been sine I’ve been in the league.”
“It’s one of the most important years to come for me. But at the end of the day, I’ll continue to do what I do best, and that’s working my butt off.” McLemore can become a free agent after the season. He’ll be restricted if the Kings make a qualifying offer rather than letting him leave as an unrestricted free agent. With the rising salary cap, players on their rookie deals such as McLemore are bargains. A qualifying offer for McLemore for the 2017-18 season will cost the Kings just $5.4 million.
“I would have absolutely been interested in bringing him here. You always find a place for a guy like that, whose voice in the locker room is so strong, so clear, so impactful. “He’s such a great teacher in practice. He should start a course in leadership. The NBA should designate who the best player is on each team and then they could bring Kevin in and he could teach them how to be the best player and the best leader. Better yet, they could bring him and Tim [Duncan] in and they could teach it together and show people how it can be done in two completely opposite ways.”
Coach Jeff Hornacek said on Friday that he doesn’t expect to use Jennings and Rose in the same backcourt extensively. “I don’t think you go to that for big minutes. We have plenty of capable players, especially at those bigger spots,” he said. “If we want guys coming in and off the bench, we get into that half-court offense. If we need to rest our starters, we can really slow the game down a little bit and execute because we do have guys we can throw into the post.”
D’Angelo Russell’s eyes are sparkling as he makes clear how he feels about his new coach. “At this level, I don’t really know what it takes to win,” Russell says. “So from a guy who knows what it takes to win, I can’t do anything but sit back and listen.” He is proud that Walton, from their first time together in offseason workouts, requested Russell’s voice to break the team’s huddles: “This is the point guard! He’s the leader!” Walton bellowed. “When he speaks, guys, you gotta listen.”