Last week, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Sacramento Kings centre Dewayne Dedmon wanted to be traded.
Dedmon has since confirmed the report, telling Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee that he would "like to go somewhere where my talents are appreciated."
Disgruntled Kings center Dewayne Dedmon speaks out: 'I would like to be traded' https://t.co/t7HlkdfOX1- The Sacramento Bee (@sacbee_news) December 30, 2019
It's been a frustrating season so far for the 30-year-old. After signing a three-year, $40 million contract with the Kings in the summer, he started the season as Sacramento's starting centre. He was then moved to the bench five games into the season after both he and the Kings got off to a slower start than expected.
Dedmon has since been removed from the rotation, having played only twice since the first week of December.
If Dedmon is traded, whichever team acquires him will be hoping he can return to last season's form when he started in 52 games for the Atlanta Hawks and averaged a career-high 10.8 points to go along with 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks. He also proved to be one of the better shooters at his position last season, ranking sixth in 3-pointers made among centres despite playing in only 64 games.
At his best, Dedmon provides 3-point shooting and rim protection, which are skills that every team in the league is looking for at his position. But which teams make the most sense for him?
There's no other place to start.
The Celtics have been one of the best teams in the league to this point of the season, but it still feels like they're a piece away from being in the same bracket as the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers at the top of the Eastern Conference.
The backcourt isn't the problem. Rather, it's at centre where the Celtics could do with a boost.
Ideally, they'd acquire someone who is better suited to match up with Joel Embiid seeing as the Celtics will likely have to go through the Philadelphia 76ers to make the Finals, but that person - Marc Gasol - might not become available between now and the trade deadline.
That's not to say Dedmon wouldn't make a difference against the 76ers, because he would. At the very least, he would give them much more size to throw at the two-time All-Star. Enes Kanter has never been known for his defence, Robert Williams III isn't quite ready to be thrown into the deep end and Daniel Theis is at a height disadvantage standing at 6-foot-8.
Dedmon, on the other hand, is a solid 7-feet with a 7-foot-4 wingspan.
Other than that specific matchup, Dedmon would fit in well with Boston's core of Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward on offence as a low usage centre who can step out the 3-point line.
The tricky part for the Celtics would be matching salaries. With Walker, Smart, Tatum, Brown and Hayward likely being off limits, their best bet would be something along the lines of Kanter, Romeo Langford and Carsen Edwards for Dedmon.
However, that's quite a lot to give up for someone who has struggled as much as Dedmon has so far this season.
Dedmon would be a fascinating addition to the Clippers because of the spacing he would be able to provide alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George - assuming, of course, that he can regain his shooting touch from last season.
The Clippers don't currently have a centre who can step out to the 3-point line, as both Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell do almost all of their scoring in the paint. Not that Dedmon would necessarily close games in place of Harrell if the Clippers were to trade for him, but he would give them the option of playing five-out with some combination of him, Leonard, George, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Landry Shamet.
The Clippers would even have the option of playing Dedmon and Harrell at the same time against certain teams because unlike Zubac, Dedmon doesn't need to be around the basket to be a scoring threat. He can function as a power forward on offence for short periods of time, freeing Harrell to work his usual magic as a roller and cutter.
In theory, trading for Dedmon wouldn't be as difficult for the Clippers as it would for the Celtics. It just depends on what the Clippers would be willing to give up and what the Kings would be seeking for in return. Maurice Harkless straight up for Dedmon works, for example, but would Sacramento also want Zubac? It wouldn't be a surprise if they did considering Kings head coach Luke Walton coached Zubac last season when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In which case, giving up two rotational players for Dedmon probably isn't worth it.
This is simple: Dedmon had the best season of his career with the Hawks and he could fix some of the problems that have contributed to them having the worst record in the league this season. We already know that he complements Trae Young well on offence - Young assisted Dedmon more than anyone else on the Hawks last season - and he's a better defender than Alex Len and Damian Jones.
The Hawks might not be interested in trading one of their young prospects for Dedmon, but they can offer expiring contracts to the Kings in the form of Chandler Parson, Evan Turner, Allen Crabbe and/or Alex Len. And with little-to-no money committed to their roster for the next two seasons, the Hawks can afford the $13.3 million Dedmon will make in both 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Having drafted Luka Doncic and traded for Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks are now in the business of finding role players who can get the most out of their one-two punch.
How does Dedmon fit into that equation?
The Mavericks already have a solid centre rotation in place in Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell, but Dedmon would give them even more size and shooting in the frontcourt. The shooting would give Doncic more space to work with on offence while Dedmon's comfort guarding centres would allow Porzingis to continue logging most of his minutes at power forward, where he has always been more comfortable playing.
This could be as simple as swapping Courtney Lee for Dedmon, with the draw for the Kings being that Lee is an expiring contract. Alternatively, the Mavericks could trade one of Kleber or Powell if they believe Dedmon is better suited than one of them to start or come off the bench over the next two and a half seasons.
They're each around the same age, with Dedmon being 30 and both Kleber and Powell being 28, so the team's timeline wouldn't change much if they did choose to trade one of them for Dedmon. It wouldn't impact their cap sheet much either, as Dedmon is under contract for one less season than Kleber and Powell.
Miami Heat - Bam Adebayo is Miami's centre of the future, but he spends a lot of his minutes playing alongside another 7-footer in Meyers Leonard. Dedmon would be an upgrade defensively over Leonard while still being able to space the floor.
Portland Trail Blazers - Do the Blazers intend on re-signing Hassan Whiteside this offseason? If the answer is no, making a move for Dedmon becomes a possibility. Whereas Whiteside will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Dedmon has two years beyond this season remaining on his contract. There's also a good chance that Dedmon would be more accepting of a backup role behind Jusuf Nurkic next season, if only because Whiteside has been a starter for almost his entire NBA career.
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