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For Dudley, leadership is advice and ‘candid’ assessments

NBA: Brooklyn Nets-Media Day Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets roster is primarily made up of young talent, its starting line-up one of the league’s youngest. With a young team looking to bring back winning to the franchise, there’s always a need for a solid group of veterans on the court and in the locker room.

Last season, DeMarre Carroll was the designated veteran on the roster. He did a good job mentoring his young teammates and fulfilling a big role on the court too. In particular, he worked with D’Angelo Russell.

“That leadership role, that voice, that experience. He brings a lot to the team. We appreciate it, you know, we can just be a young team with no veteran guys,” Russell has said. “[We’re] fortunate enough to have a guy like him. [He’s] been through it, been around Kenny [Atkinson] for a long time, knows what Kenny wants, and kind of dumbs down the message whenever he gets the message from Kenny.”

Nets general manager Sean Marks added to that veteran presence this off-season bringing in more veteran players, both in free agency (Ed Davis) and salary dumps (Kenneth Faried and Jared Dudley). Carroll has said he appreciates the addition of other voices and like Carroll, Dudley is focusing on DLo’s potential.

Only a week into his Nets tenure, Dudley talked to Russell over the phone to give him advice on how he can make his teammates better.

In a interview with CBS Sports published this week, Dudley praised some of his new teammates and the impact they can bring to the team ... assessing what he thinks each should shoot for this season. He called it a “candid” interview.

Jarrett Allen, who Dudley called “ a cornerstone player” for the Nets earlier this off-season, emphasized the big man as the team’s anchor.

“He has to be the anchor for us. And because of that, we don’t switch a lot of pick-and-rolls sometimes. Sometimes, he’ll be back. So for him to average 1.8-to-2 blocks a game, I think he’s going to play enough minutes. I really think a double-double, and him slowly progressing whereby in January, February, his numbers are a lot better than they were in October, November.”

Dudley spoke as well as about Spencer Dinwiddie, who had breakout play last season. He thinks Dudley could become a more efficient scorer.

“Spencer is a unique case. He could be our leading scorer even coming off the bench. He’s very explosive. I think for him, somewhere averaging around 15-16 points because we need him to, five or six assists, but I could see his percentages being more efficient. Getting to that free throw line. If he can shoot around 37 from 3, 45 from the field -- I want him to be a more efficient shooter.”

Caris LeVert, who played great scoring 15 points in 21 minutes of play in the Nets preseason loss Wednesday to the New York Knicks, is one of Brooklyn’s brightest spots. Dudley wants LeVert to continue that aggressive scoring but incorporate more outside shooting into his game.

“He has the most upside when it comes to just athleticism, how hard he plays. I think for him, being a 15-point scorer, also making that outside shot. I think for him, being a respectable outside shooter, if he can do that, his scoring will go up even more because he gets to the paint so easily.”

It’s not surprising that 1) Dudley got some votes in the NBA’s annual GM survey as a future coach and 2) that he likes the idea.

Besides his leadership, he fits Brooklyn’s offensive system quite well.

Dudley is a career 39.6 percent three-point shooter over his 12-year career, 15th among active players. In Wednesday night’s preseason loss to the New York Knicks, he sank a high arcing three-pointer over Enes Kanter, ending his night with five points, three rebounds, and one assist in 16 minutes of play.

Besides from his scoring, Dudley’s main impact was his leadership on the court. When the Nets started to fall apart in the second quarter, Dudley kept his young teammates in the game with energy and was vocal on play calls.

It also helps that he’s lost 20 pounds since the start of last season, going from 248 pounds on his 6’7” frame to 228. Where does he fit in the Nets rotation? Hard to tell right now, but like Carroll, expect him to be seen ... and heard.