After buying out Glen Davis, the Orlando Magic had two weeks to sign a player to reach the minimum roster size of 13 players. To replace Davis down low, the Magic signed D-League All-Star Dewayne Dedmon, a 6’11 center out of USC. Is Dedmon a stopgap, a league mandated pick-up, or a legitimate part of the Orlando Magic’s future? Let’s take a look.
Dedmon is a “big” in every sense of the word. Not only is he nearly 7 feet, but he weighs a solid 255 lbs. He joins the Magic’s brigade of 24 year old big men along with Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn. Out of high school he attend the Antelope Valley junior college (I’m not kidding) where he caught the eye of USC. He arrived at Southern California very raw, and averaged 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game during his redshirt sophomore season and 6.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks the next year. He entered the 2013 NBA draft but went unselected.
His post game was raw, and he relied on inefficient post moves to score in the half court. “Lacking polished footwork or a go-to move, and often settling for turnaround jump shots or sweeping, off-balance hooks going away from the rim, Dedmon converts just 40% of his post-up shot attempts” according to DraftExpress in their scouting report prior to the draft. His per-minute rebounding statistics ranked 11th across BCS-conference centers, an encouraging note in an otherwise unremarkable resume.
Dedmon has taken advantage of the D-League to work on his game. In 15 games for the Santa Cruz Warriors this year, he averaged 15.2 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks. The major tenants of his game have remained the same, he’s just gotten better at what he does. Watching this highlight from a 27-point outburst, you can see both his trademark turnaround and jump hook:
He has been signed by both the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors in the past but never played for them in the regular season. He made his NBA debut with the Philadelphia 76ers, averaging 3.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game. He shot 51.7% from the field but averaged 2.5 fouls per game, a clear sign he has trouble defending against NBA speed right now.
So where does he fit on the Magic? He’ll be the third center behind Nikola Vucevic and O’Quinn. The Magic desperately need more rebounding when Vucevic sits, and Dedmon will earn his stripes there. They also need shot blocking, but it’s unclear if Dedmon’s defense can become disciplined enough to be effective. He’s a solid pick-up, and worth a look on a couple 10-day contracts. Odds are he won’t stick around past then as the Magic cycle through prospects throughout the rest of the season.
What do you think? Can Dewayne Dedmon help the Orlando Magic? Let us know in the comments section below! Want more Magic? Sign up for our newsletter!