According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the deal contains a second-year player option and is worth $14 million in total.
While Dedmon didn’t provide a ton of offense, he delivered exactly what the Spurs needed on defense. According to NBA.com, San Antonio had a 97.5 defensive rating when he was on the court compared to a 102.7 defensive rating when he was on the bench.
On shots inside six feet, Dedmon held opposing shooters to 50.7 percent from the field, 10.4 percentage points below their average, per NBA.com. Opponents shot 43.9 percent from inside 10 feet with Dedmon guarding them, 12.3 percentage points below average.
Charania first reported Dedmon declined his player option for next season, which would’ve paid him $3 million. The decision was likely easy for the 27-year-old considering how highly NBA teams value capable rim protectors.
The San Antonio Express-News‘ Jabari Young reported Dedmon was in line for a healthy pay raise by turning the option down:
That decision also effectively ended his time in San Antonio. Given their lack of financial flexibility, the Spurs couldn’t afford to get in a bidding war for Dedmon’s services.
The Ringer’s Haley O’Shaughnessy speculated the free-agent market for centers created the possibility for Dedmon to receive even more money than most would’ve expected:
“Last offseason, Boban Marjanovic signed with Detroit for $21 million over three years after the Spurs passed. But Dedmon could also benefit from big men getting paid this summer. The rumors of Nerlens Noel possibly getting the maximum could also set the tone for lesser players. It’s feasible to envision a scenario where a team that misses out on Noel talks itself into overpaying for a guy like Dedmon.”
It’s easy to see why Dedmon is such a tantalizing addition for the Hawks. Average out last season’s numbers over 36 minutes, and he posted 10.5 points, 13.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, per Basketball-Reference.com. If he can maintain that kind of efficiency over 20-plus minutes a night, he’ll provide a solid return on Atlanta’s investment.
With the Hawks starting anew in the frontcourt after trading Dwight Howard and watching four-time All-Star Paul Millsap sign with the Denver Nuggets in free agency, Dedmon has the chance to carve out a significant role in the team’s rotation.
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