Hawks player season review: Dewayne Dedmon


Center Dewayne Dedmon joined the Hawks as a free agent last summer with the expectation that he would take on a bigger role after spending four seasons mostly as a lesser role player. That’s how it played out. 

Dedmon posted career-highs in starts (46) and usage percentage (17.0). Both numbers likely would have been higher if not for a leg injury Dedmon suffered in November. He came off the bench for 16 games after his return from injury. 

Dedmon had a solid season in his new role. His career-high 14.4 points per 36 minutes came on 1.2 points per shot attempt, an efficiency that Cleaning the Glass ranked in the 73rd percentile among bigs. That was a decline in efficiency from Dedmon’s previous two seasons, but still was very good considering his higher usage. 

Dedmon also posted a career-high assist percentage (9.2), a sign that he operated well with the ball in his hands more often. Dedmon’s turnover percentage (16.3) was high — he sometimes struggled to catch the ball cleanly when receiving it on the move — but it was nearly three points lower than last season. 

In my Dedmon season preview , I noted that while he was a very efficient pick-and-roll big, Dedmon “hasn’t shown much scoring ability away from the basket and really hasn’t tried.” That changed this season. After attempting only one 3-pointer in his previous 224 career games, Dedmon made 35.5 percent of 141 tries this season, including 28 of 70 corner 3’s (40 percent). 

Dedmon’s shift away from the basket offensively, which was part of coach Mike Budenholzer’s design, increased his versatility but decreased his scoring efficiency. (It also substantially decreased his production on offensive rebounds, but he ranked in the 84th percentile for defensive rebounding percentage; Dedmon has been in the 74th percentile or better in each of his four seasons as a rotation player.)

Per CTG, 33 percent of Dedmon’s field-goal attempts were within four feet of the basket after at least 61 percent of his attempts were at the rim over his previous four seasons. Dedmon took a high volume of long 2-pointers with good accuracy but his free-throw attempt rate plummeted from 35.9 to 18.0. But Dedmon still was an efficient offensive player considering his increased volume, and he finished well around the basket (96th percentile in points per possession on non-post ups, per Synergy Sports). 

Defensively, Dedmon’s shot-blocking production declined substantially. He ranked in the 54th percentile among bigs in block percentage this season, according to CTG, after he placed in the 82nd percentile in each of his previous four seasons. 

However, CTG lineup data shows that the Hawks were much better at protecting the rim when Dedmon was on the court alongside John Collins. Opponents had a hard time getting clean looks around the basket with the quick-jumping duo of Dedmon and Collins working in tandem. The rim protection suffered when either player was on the bench.

Dedmon took a chance when he declined a $3 million option with the Spurs last summer and chose free agency. It paid off when he signed a two-year, $12.3 million deal with the Hawks that includes a player option. Dedmon earned another $900,000 in incentives this season and his 2018-19 option now is worth about $7.2 million. 

Soon after the season ended, Dedmon was noncommittal about exercising his option. Dedmon will turn 29 in August (albeit with just 4.812 minutes played), so my guess it that he will opt out for a chance to sign what could be the only long-term contract of his career. 

The free-agent market is expected to be tight this summer, but Dedmon probably can expect to find a pretty good market for his services. Dedmon’s suitors will have to evaluate whether his 3-point shooting is sustainable, which increases his value substantially, and if his decline in shot-blocking production is a one-off that can be attributed to circumstances.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Dodgers, not Phillies, land Manny Machado in trade
Dodgers, not Phillies, land Manny Machado in trade

Good news for Braves fans. Orioles star Manny Machado won’t be going to the Philadelphia Phillies, the team the Braves trail by a half-game in the NL East standings. The Los Angeles Dodgers landed the prized All-Star shortstop from the Baltimore Orioles in a trade Wednesday night. The Orioles received five prospects: outfielder Yusniel Diaz,...
Why Brant Mitchell loves Quez Jackson ‘to death’
Why Brant Mitchell loves Quez Jackson ‘to death’

Georgia Tech freshman linebacker Quez Jackson appeared on the preseason two-deep depth chart that was released Wednesday, just one of six freshmen to be included on the 45-player chart. At the ACC Kickoff, Tech linebacker and captain Brant Mitchell offered his endorsement of Jackson’s ability, including a significant comparison. &ldquo...
Tech’s Paul Johnson holds his ground like his team holds the ball
Tech’s Paul Johnson holds his ground like his team holds the ball

It should come as zero surprise that even in this age when college football coaches are swapped in and out like so many zip drives, Paul Johnson is beginning his second decade at the same program. After all, he always has been big – real big – on time of possession. Come to think of it, he is like one of his Georgia Tech possessions. The...
WATCH: Alabama players relate, explain how Georgia football can use pain
WATCH: Alabama players relate, explain how Georgia football can use pain

ATLANTA — Alabama football coach Nick Saban referred to it on Wednesday as “maybe the greatest emotional pendulum I’ve ever experienced in a 30-second span.” Georgia football fans and players called it heartbreak. But make no mistake about it, Saban and Crimson Tide players Ross Pierschbacher and Anfernee Jennings...
2014 Georgia player witnessed Jeremy Pruitt’s ‘blow-ups, antics,’ but some maybe warranted
2014 Georgia player witnessed Jeremy Pruitt’s ‘blow-ups, antics,’ but some maybe warranted

ATLANTA — One more thing on all this what-happened-at-Georgia chatter surrounding Jeremy Pruitt, and we’ll move on. Former Georgia football stars Aaron Murray and David Pollack are getting a lot of attention for their criticism of the new Tennessee head coach, who was the defensive coordinator for the Bulldogs a couple of years...
More Stories