Dewayne Dedmon is going to test free agency this summer, and someone’s going to either overpay or underpay for him.
Shams Charania of The Vertical reported that Dedmon is declining his $3 million player option, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. The 27-year-old had the best season of his career, and the San Antonio Spurs gave him more of a chance than anyone else. He spent the previous three seasons bouncing around the league before finding a temporary home with the Orlando Magic.
Last July, Dedmon signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Spurs. In 76 games, Gregg Popovich was never hesitant to look his way for an energy boost. He averaged 17.5 minutes in those contests and got the starting nod 37 times. Despite being completely raw offensive, Dedmon fits the bill for anyone who’s looking for a center to protect the paint, block shots and inhale rebounds. His minutes weren’t high, but he still averaged 6.5 boards and 0.8 blocks. In games where Dedmon saw more time, the production was radically different, and his impact was far greater when Popovich let out his leash.
He performed his best when his minutes landed between 20 and 29 — 6.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, a plus/minus of plus-15.5 and a bonkers defensive rating of 94 points allowed per 100 possessions. For the season as a whole, his DRtg was 99 per 100, which led the Spurs.
With all the value Dedmon brought, he had detractors that led to his limited minutes. He was detrimental to San Antonio’s offense because of his lack of versatility, and the Spurs were 3.5 points worse with him on the floor during the regular season. In the playoffs, that ballooned to minus-12.8. On defense, there were problems as well. Dedmon’s biggest asset is his rim protection, and he held opponents to 50.7 percent shooting inside of six feet, according to NBA.com — that’s 10.2 points below their season average. Because he contested so many shots, he got into foul trouble often, and 2.4 fouls in 17.5 minutes isn’t a good ratio. Of course, there’s a counterpoint.
Also Read: How Would Chris Paul Fit With The Spurs?
Dedmon didn’t have to play significant minutes, so he could play at 110 miles per hour and not worry about getting whistled. That could change on a team where he’s utilized more. Dedmon would be more careful about choosing which shots to contest.
The market value of a guy like Dedmon is somewhere in the $8-10 million range thanks to the rising salary cap. I predicted that someone like Mason Plumlee is going to earn upwards of $10 million, and he can impact a game in more ways than Dedmon. Regardless, energy bigs have a place in the NBA. JaVale McGee and Tristan Thompson been incredible for the Warriors and Cavaliers. One is more vital than the other, but both are difference-makers and will be x-factors during this year’s Finals.
A handful of organizations can benefit from Dewayne Dedmon if the coach can put him a position to succeed. That means being an anchor and a glass-cleaner. Do not throw him the ball on the block and expect him to get 30. It’s not going to happen. Also, don’t pay him and not play him. We don’t need another Timofey Mozgov.
Start a conversation with me on Twitter