Deal or No Deal: Dewayne Dedmon
As the calendar inches closer to the February 7th trade deadline, teams around the league are taking inventory of their roster and trying to decide whether or not they are in a position to make a move.
The Atlanta Hawks find themselves approaching the deadline as sellers. With a rebuild in full force, the Hawks front office is looking to the future. That means veterans and players on expiring deals are up for grabs if the right offer crosses their desk.
Someone on the roster that fits that criteria for Atlanta is center Dewayne Dedmon. Dedmon has been nothing short of stellar for the Hawks since signing for a bargain two-year, $14 million deal in the summer of 2017. Over that time, Dedmon has averaged career highs in points (10.2), rebounds (7.9), blocks (1.0), minutes per game (24.9) and turned himself into a reliable three-point shooter–35.5 percent and 37.3 percent in 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons respectively.
Dedmon has fortified himself as a starting caliber player during his stint in Atlanta, but with his deal set to expire this summer, he might have played himself out of the Hawks price range in free agency.
Instead of letting the talented big walk for nothing in July, the best case scenario for Atlanta is to strike while the iron is hot and flip Dedmon into assets that will help them beyond just this season.
With the landscape of the NBA ever-evolving, Dedmon has gone from the end of, the bench to potential championship-level acquisition for a contending team. And as the Golden State Warriors round into the modern-day Monstars, any team thinking of giving them a run for their money in the postseason will need as many tools in their bag as possible.
The Hawks should be prioritizing things like draft picks, cap space, and young talent in any deal they make leading up to the February 7 trade deadline.
Let’s take at a few mock trade ideas and dissect whether or not they would make sense for Atlanta.
Brooklyn Nets trade F Jared Dudley to the Atlanta Hawks for C Dewayne Dedmon
The hottest team in the NBA over the past 25 games has been none other than…the Brooklyn Nets. Once considered tanking-76ers bad, the Nets have rebirthed themselves under the coaching of Kenny Atkinson and the management of general manager, Sean Marks.
D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie have morphed into the best point guard duo in the entire league. Jarrett Allen is blocking everything and everyone that comes in the paint. Joe Harris is one of the best perimeter shooters in the NBA. Finally, before an unfortunate injury, Caris LeVert was making the leap into stardom. Things are brewing in Brooklyn and they can be a real nuisance by the playoffs.
Yet, if they aim to be more than just a pesky first-round opponent, there are deals out there that they can make that could vaunt them up the Eastern Conference ladder–especially with the Indiana Pacers losing All-Star Victor Oladipo for the remainder of the year.
For the Hawks, this trade lines up similarly to the proposed swap between the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta involving Jeremy Lin that was mentioned in Lin’s trade deadline preview profile. It is ultimately a salary dump for Atlanta and with the added bonus of having an additional two million dollars come off the books at season’s end via Jared Dudley’s expiring contract.
Dudley knows his role as a veteran in the league and comes with the added bonus of being able to stretch the floor as a career 39 percent three-point shooter.
If the Nets are ready to make a few all-in moves, the Hawks may be able to also get them to add in a draft pick or two in this move. They currently are owed the Denver Nuggets first-round pick (which would be slotted 26th overall if the standings held as is) and second-round picks from the New York Knicks (32nd overall currently) and Indiana (only if it falls between 31st-44th). The Knicks second rounder could arguably be viewed as a first rounder since it will likely fall at the top of the second round.
DEAL OR NO DEAL?
Houston Rockets trade G Eric Gordon & C Nene Hilario to the Atlanta Hawks for G Jeremy Lin & C Dewayne Dedmon
The Atlanta Hawks and the Houston Rockets have been connected in rumors over the course of this season, however, the target most of the times have been Hawks wing, Kent Bazemore. But with Clint Capela being sidelined for a month at least due to a thumb injury it wouldn’t hurt Daryl Morey to try and search for some more frontcourt help at the deadline.
Morey has already made one such move, bringing in former Nets reserve Kenneth Faried off waivers. Faried has been serviceable in his few starts, but count me unconvinced that he’s the guy Houston wants to be giving the bulk of their center minutes to with Capela on the mend.
Dedmon is much more of the type of player that Mike D’Antoni would work wonders within his high pick-and-roll spread offense. While not on the same level as a vertical athlete as either Capela or Faried, Dedmon’s outside shooting ability brings a curveball that this iteration of the Rockets hasn’t yet had from its primary screener. Dedmon can still throw down some lobs, but imagine how much more of a headache a Harden pick-and-roll becomes when the big screening is also a threat to shoot three-pointers.
The Hawks would also pull off two birds, with one stone scenario in this deal as they would also move Jeremy Lin who the team is definitely shopping to heading towards the trade deadline.
In return, Atlanta would get an impact veteran who could do more than just mentoring their youthful roster in Eric Gordon. A Trae Young, Gordon, Kevin Huerter trio would be very intriguing offensively and with a top three pick slipping away with every Cavaliers, Bulls, Knicks, and Suns loss, ending the season as a .500 team isn’t the worst case scenario. Nene Hilario’s additional year on his contract isn’t great, but at only $3 million it isn’t necessarily breaking the bank for the Hawks.
DEAL OR NO DEAL?
Golden State Warriors trade G Shaun Livingston & F/C Jordan Bell to the Atlanta Hawks for C Dewayne Dedmon
The rich get richer. When Damian Jones went down for the season with a torn pectoral muscle suddenly the Golden State Warriors had frontcourt depth issues. In the time since DeMarcus Cousins’ return to the floor has somewhat quieted those concerns in the Bay.
But, as Bob Meyers has proven before, this franchise will not sit idly by if an opportunity to improve their roster presents itself. With the buyout market unlikely to produce anyone who Golden State could use (or anyone willing to accept a bit-role with the Warriors) the best chance for the Warriors to add to their team this season comes via trade.
Dedmon got his start in the NBA with Golden State so this deal represents a homecoming of sorts for the six-year veteran. At 29, Dedmon doesn’t fit with Atlanta’s long-term vision and being in the final year of his contract only adds on to that notion.
For the Hawks, the coup de grace of this move is getting Jordan Bell and his restricted free agency rights this summer. Bell exploded on the scene as a rookie but hasn’t had similar success in his second season in the league. With Cousins, Kevon Looney, and Draymond Green handling most of the center minutes Bell has fallen to the back burner for the Warriors. Golden State might be willing to sell-low on Bell or even swap him for a player who better fits their roster.
Shaun Livingston operates as a salary-matching purpose and with Quinn Cook looking more than ready to handle backup minutes, shedding the $12 million-plus they owe Livingston off their cap sheet they would lower their luxury tax bill for the 2019-20 season. The lanky point guard has been in and out of the lineup with injuries but has looked the part of a valuable contributor of late during the Warriors’ recent 11-game win streak.
DEAL OR NO DEAL?
Toronto Raptors trade F CJ Miles, G Delon Wright, & C Greg Monroe to the Atlanta Hawks for C Dewayne Dedmon & G/F DeAndre Bembry
Toronto and Massai Ujiri have shown that they are willing to move whatever it takes if it means making the Raptors true championship contenders. So far, the Kawhi Leonard deal has paid off immensely for the team and the rise of Pascal Siakam to borderline All-Star has helped sure up this team.
One deficiency they have left is in the frontcourt. They have made it work rotating Siakam, Jonas Valinciunas, and Serge Ibaka in the starting lineup depending on the team they’re facing, but in the playoffs, Valinciunas could be rendered useless in certain matchups. Adding a player like Dedmon gives them a piece that they could use no matter who they are playing. Dedmon provides upside on both the offensive and defensive ends.
Similar to Bell in Golden State, Delon Wright is the crown jewel of this proposal. In his first season calling the shots, Nick Nurse has shown that he’s willing to go as deep as his bench allows him. Often, that leaves Wright watching the action from the sidelines as Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet get the bulk of the minutes.
Greg Monroe is just filler, whereas C.J. Miles can actually contribute to a team still. Yet, players like that seem more like an acquisition to be made by a team that has something to play for this year. That is not Atlanta. The Hawks are all-in on their youth movement and bringing in a wing the caliber of Miles that is looking for actual playing time could throw a wrench into what Atlanta is currently working on.
DEAL OR NO DEAL?
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