Limited early on by foul trouble and sparse playing time before we arrived in Orlando, Jared Dudley seemed to have saved his best for the final three games that we personally took in after arriving from Las Vegas. We saw one of the most skilled and confident rookies of any of the first round picks, a player who looks ready to step in and get serious playing time from day one with the Bobcats.
If you saw Dudley play in college, then you have a pretty good idea of how he played in the summer league as well. The only differences would be in the way his body looks and the fact that hes expanded his shooting range considerably over the past 3-4 months. Dudley has lost at least 20 pounds since his BC days and is now in absolutely phenomenal shape. This has helped his lateral quickness considerably, and he indeed did a fine job throughout the camp defending the small forward position with his typical intensity and fundamental play. Putting the ball on the floor, Dudley looked noticeably quicker in his initial first step, and is now more adept at getting off the ground and finishing thanks to his improved leaping ability and body control. If the lane was too clogged, Dudley showed no problem pulling up off the dribble for a mid-range jumper, or hitting a spot-up 3-pointer from NBA range. To round out his game, Dudley also contributed his typical toughness and intensity on the glass.
It will be interesting to see if Dudley will be able to crack Charlottes rotation this year, since they could very well be the most stacked team in the NBA now at his position. Dudley will have to show that he can defend NBA caliber small forwards to do so, as well as display his improved perimeter shooting stroke once training camp begins.