The Hawks likely found their starting center for 2017-18 in Dewayne Dedmon. The team signed him to a two-year/$14 million contract with the second year being a player option.
While the Dwight Howard experiment was short-lived in Atlanta, it appears Coach Bud is still trying to incorporate having more of a true rim protector on the floor. Dedmon will practically fill Dwight’s role: a defensive rim protector with limited offensive upside. When Dedmon was on the court as Pau Gasol’s backup, the Spurs were a much better defensive team. His opponents hit field goals at a much lower clip than league average, suggesting he is a pest defensively. He brings in defensive rebounds at a nice 27.3% rate.
However, Dedmon is definitely a liability offensively. You will not see him do much more than dunk or alley-oop the basketball.
Nevertheless, there is a need for rim protectors in the NBA, and if Dedmon gets starter minutes he will most definitely cash in on the Hawks investment. It appears Mike Muscala may actually slide in at the starting power forward spot initially. This signing does not affect the team’s future, as he is likely to opt out of his deal if he increases his value. The Hawks run a system very similar to the Spurs and he likely got an endorsement from Gregg Popovich. However, there is always the chance that Dedmon is Spurs fools gold, which seems to be the case more often than not.
You can put this signing under the “meh” category, but Dedmon will likely be one of the most important players on the roster in 2017-18. He will be in line for a bigger role in Atlanta with a bit of familiarity, and could prove to be a steal at $7 million annually.