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

Atlanta United unloads on MLS ref Geiger
Atlanta United unloads on MLS ref Geiger

Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino’s right leg was practically vibrating in agitation under the table as he said some of the 800 words focused on the officiating in Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Martino has never held back from criticizing the officials in his 47 regular season games in charge...
Remembering an LSU legend: Billy Cannon, 1937-2018
Remembering an LSU legend: Billy Cannon, 1937-2018

BATON ROUGE, La. — Billy Cannon, the lone Heisman Trophy winner in LSU football history, died Sunday morning at the age of 80. And even though several generations have passed and the world has changed dramatically since Cannon last played for the Tigers in 1959, his influence on LSU history is not lost on the current...
Southern Fried Soccer: New York Red Bulls 3, Atlanta United 1
Southern Fried Soccer: New York Red Bulls 3, Atlanta United 1

In this episode of the soccer podcast “Southern Fried Soccer,” Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Jason Longshore of 92.9FM and SoccerDownHere.com discuss Atlanta United’s 3-1 loss to New York Red Bulls on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Baylor softball season ends after 10-4 NCAA tournament loss to Texas A&M
Baylor softball season ends after 10-4 NCAA tournament loss to Texas A&M

Baylor softball saw its season end Sunday night in a disappointing manner against an old rival. Texas A&M notched a 10-4 victory over the Bears to end Baylor’s season at the College Station Regional. The Aggies blew the game open with a seven-run fifth inning where they bunched four hits and sent 10 batters to the plate. The inning was extended...
Competition for state golf championships begin Monday
Competition for state golf championships begin Monday
The Mill Creek boys and Lambert girls are among the teams who will defend their state titles when the GHSA golf championship begin around the state.  The championships will be contested over two days, with all schools competing over 36 holes for the second straight year. Only two schools failed to qualify to defend their championships. Class AAAAAAA...
More Stories