When the Philadelphia 76ers waived Daniel Orton on January 7, a source close to the situation told Liberty Ballers, off the record, to keep an eye on Dewayne Dedmon to fill that empty roster spot. Soon enough, the USC product worked out in front of Sixers personnel at PCOM, along with Jarvis Varnado, Kyrylo Fesenko and Hamady N’Diaye, and agreed to a 10-day contract with the team.
Dedmon played well enough during his first 10 days in Philly for Sam Hinkie to offer a second 10-day deal. That second contract expires on Sunday, after the Sixers play the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills this evening.
The question now remains whether the Sixers should keep Dedmon on board for the remainder of this tanktastic season. If the Sixers wish to hold on to Dedmon, they’ll re-sign him until June 30. If they don’t, they can't offer him a third 10-day and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. On Wednesday night, before the Sixers defeated the Boston Celtics, Dedmon told Liberty Ballers he’s relished this learning experience playing extended time at the NBA level.
2014 NBA Draft
2014 NBA Draft
"I’m just having fun and enjoying the experience every day. Every day I’m learning something new," Dedmon said. "The best part was the call-up, man. Getting out of the D-League was the best part."
"It’s a lot better, better competition up here. I just go hard every day," Dedmon said. He mentioned playing against Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young in practice has been beneficial and he’s "just trying to pick up on different schemes and different offenses."
Interestingly enough, the Sixers should keep Dedmon in Philly because he brings a skill to the table Hawes and Young don’t: shot-blocking and rim protection.
In his red-shirt junior season at USC last year, Dedmon, all 7-feet and 255 pounds of him, averaged 2.1 blocks in 22.3 minutes per game. In his time with the Sixers, Dedmon was averaging 1.9 blocks per 36 minutes prior to last night's game against Atlanta. Opponents were shooting 0% at the rim when they challenged Dedmon in a Sixers uniform prior to Friday night, per NBA.com player tracking information. Small sample size, but he’s challenging shots in the paint at a level no other Sixers player has done this season.
Here’s the film of Dedmon’s six blocks with Philly before Friday:
Dedmon added two more blocks against the Hawks on Friday.
The athleticism he’s shown protecting the rim doesn’t just stop on defense. Dedmon has run the floor like a gazelle during his 10 games with the team, finishing several fast breaks with impressive high-flying finishes to boot.
Dedmon starting playing organized basketball his senior year of high school, illustrated in this feature I wrote on him for SLAM this summer. He’s at the developmental stage in his game that most players were in middle school. There's a decent bit of upside in holding onto him the rest of this season and potentially beyond. Could be that he grows into Nerlens Noel's backup over the next few seasons.
But first things first -- that same source close to the situation has told Liberty Ballers that the Sixers "definitely like [Dedmon], but there are too many factors" to know whether they’ll re-sign him on Sunday.
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