Are the Philadelphia 76ers’ backup center issues now solved? According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the team is signing free agent center Dewayne Dedmon to a contract for the remainder of the season.
The 76ers are signing free agent center Dewayne Dedmon for the rest of the season, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 13, 2023
The 76ers are signing free agent center Dewayne Dedmon for the rest of the season, sources tell ESPN.
Dedmon averaged 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for the Miami Heat this season. He eventually lost his minutes to young center Orlando Robinson. The Heat traded him to the San Antonio Spurs, where he was bought out, at the trade deadline. Despite being active, Dedmon did not play in 10 of the Heat’s last 11 games prior to being traded.
On paper, Dedmon does not serve as much of an upgrade over the Sixers’ current backup center duo of Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed. However, he does have size (7-feet) and has generally been a solid rebounder. He averages 12 rebounds per 36 minutes for his career. He also possesses some pick-and-pop ability, shooting 33.5% from 3-point range on 1.1 attempts per game in his career.
Nevertheless, there are a multitude of signs pointing in a negative direction. At 33 years old, it is clear at this stage of his career he has nothing left in the tank. The Heat would not have essentially given up on him if he was still a useful player. Miami scored 13.8 fewer points per 100 possessions with Dedmon on the court compared to when he was off. His net rating was minus-12.5.
In the two games since the trade deadline, Reed received the backup center minutes over Harrell (something Sixers fans have been calling to happen all season). He was serviceable, which would be an upgrade over what the Sixers receive from that spot in the rotation on most nights. However, the Dedmon signing will likely reduce Reed’s minutes. The Sixers would be much better off if they had just kept Reed and Charles Bassey and given them time to develop.
Giving Dedmon a heavy dose of minutes, especially in the postseason, is likely going to be disastrous. Between the rebounding and minimal outside shooting ability, there is a slight chance Dedmon can be useful in the right matchup. However, trusting head coach Doc Rivers to not overplay him is a tall task. Until proven otherwise, the Dedmon signing will serve as nothing more than DeAndre Jordan 2.0.