Veteran big man Dewayne Dedmon officially arrived in Philadelphia — well, Camden — for the Sixers’ shootaround Wednesday afternoon.
The 33-year-old was brought to the Sixers in a buyout market move. The seven-footer is expected to be a physically-bigger option at backup center behind Joel Embiid than the current choices of Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell.
Dedmon spoke to reporters at shootaround Wednesday about why he feels the Sixers will be a good fit for him.
“Just style of play. I feel like I can come in and help on the defensive end — talking, communicating, trying to be in the right spots,” he said. “I feel like it’s a good fit, good choice, and it worked out.”
However, the veteran admitted he isn’t positive on what his role with the Sixers will precisely look like just yet — understandably after only being here for a few days.
“We’ll see as it comes, as time goes on. At the end of the day, it’s basketball,” he said. “Got to come in and defend first, so that’s what I’ll bring.”
Dedmon went on to describe what stood out for him about the Sixers for him as an opponent, especially the players that are the key to Philadelphia’s current success.
“Just talent everywhere. Such a talented team. You’ve got one of the best bigs in the league in Joel (Embiid), you’ve got an established All-Star in James (Harden), and you’ve got an up-and-coming guard in (Tyrese) Maxey. It’s a great team. They’re able to get up and down the floor. And they’re winning games,” he explained.
Dedmon elaborated on the opportunity to play alongside Maxey and even compared him to last season’s Sixth Man of the Year.
“He’s been great, man. Him coming off the bench, I compare it to Tyler (Herro) last year,” Dedmon said. “He comes in and he’s explosive, he scores, gets the offense going and takes advantage of other teams’ second units. He’s a great talent, so I’m actually looking forward to playing with him.”
Dedmon has played 30 games with the Heat this season, averaging 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, having battled through some injury early in the season, but says he’s ready to go now.
“For me, this season was kind of tough because I started the season with plantar fasciitis. So the whole first half of the season in Miami, I was playing through plantar fasciitis. That was something that kind of took a toll on me as far as my mental and game shape, or whatever it is,” Dedmon explained. “But just being able to get past that now and having a healthy body, I’m ready to put it on display here in Philly.”
Dedmon’s experience spans about 10 years in the league and seven different teams, and he’s been developing his role throughout the twists and turns of his career.
“For me, my journey started as a defensive player — a defensive rebounder and shot blocker. That’s how it started. That was my niche and my role until I got to Atlanta — through San Antonio. And then Atlanta is where they let me do a little bit more offensively as far as shooting threes and stuff like that” Dedmon recalled. “But, like I said, I still hang my hat on defense and being in the right spots, communicating, and just trying to do the right things.”
So, this isn’t Dedmon’s first rodeo. This isn’t even Dedmon’s first rodeo in Philadelphia. The center played 11 games for the Sixers in the 2013-14 season, but a lot has changed since the early days of The Process era.
“It’s been, what, nine years or something like that? It’s great growth for the organization, doing big things, especially the whole processing years. It’s turned out into something really good going on here. For myself, just keep working. Put your head down, keep working, and it’s been paying off. I’m back here now and I’m ready to win,” Dedmon said.
The Sixers will look for that first win with Dedmon on the squad on Wednesday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Wells Fargo Center.