The 2012-2013 NBA season has largely been a forgettable one for the Phoenix Suns. They currently have just a 23-45 record and are in next-to-last place in the Western Conference. They’ve also experienced the regression of Marcin Gortat, a player they were hoping would have a big year, and have noticeably and understandably missed having Steve Nash.
One player that has performed well for them, particularly recently, has been sixth-year forward Jared Dudley. For the season, Dudley has averaged 28.4 minutes per game and has started 50 games. On the year he’s averaging 11.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game and is shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 39 percent from three.
However, with the Suns focusing on their future in this lost season, Dudley has moved back to being the sixth-man over Phoenix’s last seven games and has excelled in the role. Over his last seven games, Dudley has averaged just 23.7 minutes per game, but has put up better stats than his season averages. For the last seven games, he has averaged 12.6 points, three rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game, as well as shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and 42.3 percent from long-range.
Dudley is in just his second year of a five-year deal with Phoenix. As the Suns are looking to rebuild their franchise, they obviously see Dudley as a part of that process. Despite his veteran leadership, though, the Suns should really consider making Dudley into their sixth-man for the future. It seems like it’s a role he’s much more comfortable in and the role in which he can help the team the most.