Earlier this week, Dewayne Dedmon announced he would opt in to the final year of his contract for $7.2 million. The decision was somewhat surprising considering Dedmon excelled with more minutes in his first season with the Hawks, averaging ten points, close to eight rebounds and locking down the paint defensively. There probably was a competing team out there that would have offered him more money.
It also shows just how much free agency has changed compared to a few seasons ago when players like Miles Plumlee were getting $12 million a year. That can really be attributed to two reasons: Teams are learning after being burned by large contracts from underwhelming players, and the current state of the NBA with the Golden State Warriors super team intact. Dedmon might have signed for $50 million just a couple of years ago. For at least another year though, Dedmon will be in Atlanta.
In a less surprising move, Mike Muscala opted in to the final year of his deal worth $5 million per Adrian Wojnarowski.
Hawks forward Mike Muscala has exercised his $5M player option, source tells ESPN. He will be back with Atlanta.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 24, 2018
“Moose”, as he is known around Atlanta, has spent his entire five year career with the Hawks since being drafted in the second-round. He averaged career highs in points and rebounds last year and has proved to be a solid role player off of the bench.
The Hawks had quite a draft with three first-round picks but they likely will not be very active during free agency. The team has loads of money tied into Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore and Miles Plumlee. With both Dedmon and Muscala opting in, there will not be a lot of money to throw at free agents this summer. However, Atlanta will be exploring all their options via the trade market.