Portland Trail Blazers free agency center target: Dewayne Dedmon
After a disheartening stint with the Sacramento Kings, Dedmon rediscovered his groove by returning to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2019-2020 season and has really blossomed with the Miami Heat.
Dedmon has thrived in South Beach due to how perfectly their infamous “Heat Culture” fits his DNA as a player. He’s a tough, intelligent, blue-collar player who will never be outworked on the court.
On the season, he’s averaging 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in just over 15 minutes per game while slashing 56/46/80. That three-point percentage is certainly eye-popping, but he’s become a lot more selective with his deep looks as compared to previous seasons with the Hawks.
Still, Dedmon does allow his teams to spread the floor without sacrificing any size on the other end of the court. Having a stretch-five is a luxury that Damian Lillard hasn’t been afforded in his career, and one that the Portland Trail Blazers need to provide for the aging star.
Dedmon would provide a nice one-two punch with Jusuf Nurkic at the center position, giving Dame and Portland’s other ballhandlers a rim-roller and a pick-and-pop threat to work with on screens.
He can also be counted on to fill in valiantly as a starter, in the case that Nurk needs to miss time next season. In the 15 games he was on the floor for tip-off, he averaged 8.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per game. He was a total +70 in that time.
While signing Dewayne Dedmon wouldn’t necessarily make waves across the NBA landscape, it would provide the Trail Blazers with something they’ve lacked for a while: a solid, reliable backup center.
He’ll enter unrestricted free agency this summer and should be able to be obtained for a longer-term, minimal value contract.