More Sports:

February 13, 2023

Sixers to sign big man Dewayne Dedmon

The Sixers are signing big man Dewayne Dedmon to a deal for the rest of the season, a source confirmed to PhillyVoice on Monday morning. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news.

On paper, Dedmon would appear to fit the bill of a more "traditional" center compared to the two-man combination of Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell who are currently tasked with backing up Joel Embiid. Dedmon is a legitimate seven-feet-tall, with both the height and weight to bang bodies against bigger centers across the league. Putting him in drop coverage, you can expect him to offer a reasonable amount of rim protection. Dedmon is also a good defensive rebounder historically, pulling in 27.4 percent of available defensive rebounds while on the floor for his career. If the Sixers can force a stop in the first place, there's a good chance he's ending the possession with a rebound. 

Dedmon also brings something to the table on offense that neither Reed or Harrell can lay claim to — floor spacing. While Dedmon is nothing close to a reliable outside shooter, making about 33.5 percent of his shots from deep over his career, he has spent good chunks of his career serving as a true pick-and-pop big, with three-point shots making up a healthy part of his shot diet. If the Sixers want to try to spread it out and allow their top ballhandlers (e.g. James Harden and Tyrese Maxey) to attack an empty paint without completely sacrificing rim protection, Dedmon gives them an opportunity to make that happen.

On the other hand, there's a reason the Miami Heat gave up on Dedmon, trading him at the deadline before the tanking Spurs outright cut him. Dedmon is 33 years old and it's not clear how much he has left in the tank, with indicators on both sides of the ball trending downward. The on-court numbers for Dedmon were pretty nasty this year, and the Heat, who are not in a position to move anyone helpful at the moment, opted to go with two-way player Orlando Robinson over Dedmon for the stretch run. Even at his best, Dedmon has been a spotty contributor on offense, and there are concerns about how he will hold up in space while defending playoff-level attackers in pick-and-rolls.

Will Dedmon be satisfied in a situation where there are arguments to play other guys night to night? In Miami, the beginning of the end for Dedmon was a heated argument with the Heat coaching staff in mid-January, which led to Dedmon tossing a massage gun onto the court in the middle of a game against the Thunder, leading to his ejection from the contest. Dedmon spent the rest of the pre-deadline period, save for one 12-minute stint against the Bucks on Feburary 4th, glued to the bench for the Heat.

The hope for the Sixers is that Dedmon will be at least a useful option on a much cheaper contract than the one he was on previously. Philadelphia will only pay him like a minimum player, so he won't have an impact on the cap, the tax, or have that salary impact how they use him in the rotation. In a world where Doc Rivers treats him that way, Dedmon is fine enough in the right matchup.

The concern, though, is that Rivers could look at the veteran as the solution to their backup woes, playing him regardless of matchup and being punished for it when other teams exploit his weaknesses. The 33-year-old center certainly has less in the tank than he did a few years ago, and the Sixers are rolling the dice that he'll have something left in the tank for this stretch run. We'll see how that pans out, one year removed from DeAndre Jordan's miserable stint in Philly.

Follow Kyle on Twitter: @KyleNeubeck

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports