Will Dewayne Dedmon Stay with the Hawks?

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 22: Dewayne Dedmon
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 22: Dewayne Dedmon /

After a strong 2017-18 season, center Dewayne Dedmon will likely become a free agent by declining his player option of $7 million and testing the market for an aggressive, energetic big man who showed a propensity for popping out and hitting three pointers – with regularity – for the first time in his career.

Dedmon had something of a breakout season for a Hawks team that needed all the help it could get at the center position. At one point, the team’s entire frontcourt rotation was injured, leading to the rise of Tyler Cavanaugh and the exhumation of Miles Plumlee.

When Dedmon played, however, the team performed much better, as his energy and intensity was infectious for a young team that lacked veteran leadership beyond Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schröder.

DD filled that role and ably played the five, finishing out the season with career-highs in almost every major statistical category. Dedmon’s per-game averages of 10 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.6 steals were all career-highs, and he did all of this damage in a career-high 1542 minutes played.

In terms of totals, Dedmon logged new career-highs in points (617), defensive rebounds (389),  steals (40), assists (90), free throws made (67) and field goals made (250).

Perhaps the most revelatory aspect of this season for Dedmon was a newfound three-point jump shot. Going into this season, Dedmon had attempted only one jump shot from beyond the three-point arc; that’s right, ONE.

This season, Dedmon showcased an ability to space the floor that was heretofore unexplored, and he attempted 141 three-pointers during the 2017-18 season – hitting them at a strong clip of 35.5 percent (50 of 141). His 29.6 three-point attempt rate is just right for a stretch five, and his stroke looks nice coming off of his hand. Though he tends to shoot on the way down, which makes it easier for defenders to block his shot, his pent-up ability to shoot the three-ball was an important development for Dedmon if he decides to leave the Hawks in the offseason.

This begs the question, what teams would be interested in Dedmon?

Honestly, any playoff team should be angling for Dedmon. Though this offseason will surely be a seismic one in recent history, with the possibility of some super teams being dismantled (and still more being formed), Dedmon would make for a smart signing for any contender.

Dewayne will surely be looking for a raise on the $7 million player option on his current contract, and it is likely he will get a slight nudge on that salary. Dedmon had a strong year, though he is on the older side (will be 29 starting next season). This will likely be the last chance Dedmon has to get a sizable multi-year contract from a contending team. But will such a team be willing to pay for a likely bench big man? Hard to say.

Another likely outcome is a team that was tanking/rebuilding this year loved Dedmon’s 17-18 campaign and wants to sign him long-term to help the young guys grow. In that case, he might re-sign with the Hawks, but that seems unlikely, as the team wants to focus on youth as much as possible.

Next: 12 Possible Free Agency Targets for Hawks

Dedmon’s energy and intensity would suit any team, so he will certainly have his fair share of suitors this offseason. Time will tell if the Hawks remain on his radar in free agency after he likely opts out of his contract.