Why the Lakers Should Sign Dewayne Dedmon as the Next Free Agent Target
With the Detroit Pistons waiving Dewayne Dedmon, the Los Angeles Lakers suddenly have an opportunity to complete their transition from traditional back-to-the-basket centers by signing their second modern stretch center.
The biggest strategic move Rob Pelinka made during the offseason was the decision to dump traditional back-to-the-basket centers Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee and replace them with modern stretch five Marc Gasol. Signing Dedmon to backup Marc Gasol would be the pièce de résistance to Rob Pelinka’s masterpiece upgrade of the defending Lakers championship roster, completing the team’s transition from dinosaur bigs to modern centers.
The Lakers abandoning the Howard and McGee tandem that had been a trademark element in their championship run was a harsh reminder of how the value of traditional back-to-the-basket centers continues to plummet. The Lakers not only politely declined Howard’s embarrassing acceptance of a contract never offered but also gave the Cleveland Cavaliers one of their few remaining second round picks just to take McGee off their hands.
The Lakers still need another modern center who can stretch the floor on offense and protect the rim on defense and Dewayne Dedmon desperately needs an opportunity to resurrect his career after a disastrous last season. Backing up Gasol will give Dedmon a chance to showcase his abilities and bounce back after being waived and stretched by the Pistons. Dewayne is the perfect fit for the Lakers and they are the perfect fit for him at this time.
Right now, Marc Gasol is really the only true center on the Lakers’ roster because Anthony Davis prefers to play power forward most of the time and Montrezl Harrell is best suited to play power forward next to a stretch five. Pairing Gasol and Dedmon would let the Lakers replicate the center rotation that worked so well with McGee and Howard last season but this time with a tandem of modern stretch fives instead of traditional low post centers.
Adding Dedmon would also give the Lakers another stretch center who can protect the rim to unleash Montrezl Harrell, a high powered dynamic scorer who clearly needs to play next to a modern offensive and defensive center. The 31-year old Dedmon would also give the Lakers important depth to allow Anthony Davis to rest more during the grind of the regular season and protection in case the 35-year old Marc Gasol were to get injured.
At 7' 0," 245 lbs, Dewayne Dedmon averaged 10.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 25.1 minutes per game while shooting 49.2% from the field, 38.2% from deep, and 81.4% from the line two years ago with the Hawks. Dedmon’s exactly what the Lakers need to balance their roster and he’s healthy and available now for the veteran’s minimum salary. Rob should pick up the phone and offer Dewayne a chance to join the purple and gold.
Playing 18 to 20 minutes per game for the high profile champion Los Angeles Lakers is exactly the opportunity Dewayne Dedmon needs to erase the bad taste of getting waived and change the direction of his career.
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