Less than 24 hours after selecting C Onyeka Okongwu 6th overall, Atlanta has already made a move to clear out some playing time for him.
Detroit is trading Khyri Thomas and Tony Snell to Atlanta for Dewayne Dedmon, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 19, 2020
On the surface level, this moves seems to be purely to clear out the logjam in the frontcourt. Tony Snell has an expiring $12.18 million contract, while Dewayne Dedmon is scheduled for $13.3 million this season with a $1 million buyout next season. Snell has come nowhere near living up to the 4-year, $46 million contract he signed (2016 was a weird year). He averaged about 8 PPG over 28 minutes last year, but Atlanta could use his perimeter defense.
It was great to have Dedmon back, but with Okongwu’s foot still healing, it makes sense to allocate center duties to Capela and Bruno Fernando. This is probably better off for Dedmon anyways, as he should be able to carve out more valuable minutes. I wish him the best; he was so great for Atlanta before he was traded to the Kings.
Khyri Thomas was a 2nd round draft pick in 2018 out of Creighton. He was selected by the 76ers at 38th overall before having his draft rights traded to Detroit for two future second round picks. Thomas actually made his debut against Atlanta, knocking down a three in four minutes of action. He’s seen pretty limited minutes so far in the NBA, but the combo guard was praised for his 3-and-D projectability coming out of college. At 6’4, he’s a good athlete with a 6’10 wingspan. He may seem like a throw in now, but I think there’s potential here.
Overall, I like the move. With Bruno and Capela in the fold, Dedmon was more than expendable. The team already renounced the rights to Damian Jones & Skal Labissiere earlier today, and it’s a good sign moving forward that John Collins is here to stay.