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Rumor: Sixers interested in Hawks’ Dewayne Dedmon

Philly is interested in Atlanta’s center, but it could cost them Fultz to make a deal work.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Clippers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For a team that’s desperately in need of depth, there are always going to be suggestions galore as the NBA trade deadline approaches. That’s certainly the case for the Philadelphia 76ers, who need useful role players at every position.

According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, this includes 7-foot center Dewayne Dedmon of the Atlanta Hawks:

“If Philadelphia chooses to upgrade the roster over the next nine days, pursuing both of those things [athleticism and depth] to supplement its starters will be at the top of the agenda. Atlanta Hawks big man Dewayne Dedmon has drawn the 76ers’ interest, sources tell ESPN.”

This makes perfect sense. While the Sixers are in need of more point of attack defense, size and versatility on the wing, and a dose of extra 3-point shooting, rim protection is a major concern as well. There’s just been no real resistance in the paint this season whenever Joel Embiid moves to the bench, leading to an ugly drop from 109.4 points allowed per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor to 116.9.

Dedmon would help immediately with this. He’s blossomed into a valuable backup center (he’s actually started for Atlanta since late November), currently averaging 10.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes, with the size, athleticism and instincts to help deter shots around the rim and reasonable agility for a big his size.

A major area of growth for Dedmon has been his newfound 3-point range over the last two seasons. After taking 2.3 per game last season at a 35.5 percent rate, he’s upped his volume to 3.1 in just 24.7 minutes a night this season, making 37.2 percent. He can hit spot-ups and, despite being no major draw for defenders of course, can provide more spacing than many backup, rim-running centers.

The problem with pursuing Dedmon is that the Hawks would likely want Markelle Fultz to be included in the deal, according to Bontemps.

Even though Fultz’s value couldn’t be any lower right now and it’s hard to gauge how much he could bring in through trade (Bontemps mentioned that it seems unlikely a team would trade a first-round pick of significant value for him, but more reports suggesting how other teams value him would help), this would be an extremely poor choice for the Sixers. Sure, Fultz has gone through serious struggles so far and he’s only going to (maybe) turn things around when he finds a new situation out of Philly, but this would be a new level of selling low.

All the concerns over his jump shot and health aside, Fultz has talent in other areas of the game that hasn’t just disappeared. There’s still a chance he can become something, and all the Sixers need is for one team to have faith that can happen. At least to the extent that they’d offer more than a backup center who could walk away in free agency in a few month’s time (Dedmon’s $7.2 million deal expires this summer).

Perhaps the Sixers could push for some of the Hawks’ other role players in a deal, such as Taurean Prince and/or Jeremy Lin. Otherwise, it’s foolish to throw away Fultz for so little.

So, what are your thoughts on a potential Dedmon deal?

Poll

Should the Sixers pursue a trade for Dedmon?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Yes, even if Fultz is included
    (320 votes)
  • 78%
    Only if Fultz is not part of the deal
    (1859 votes)
  • 7%
    Not at all
    (181 votes)
2360 votes total Vote Now