Philadelphia 76ers: Keep an eye on Kings center Dewayne Dedmon

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

With Norvel Pelle’s season effectively over, could long-time target Dewayne Dedmon be high on the Philadelphia 76ers’ trade deadline wishlist?

Sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to.

Sometimes, you wrack your brain looking for potential moves to find a roster spot for a scrappy, all-energy 26-year-old rookie center only to watch his employer opt against converting his two-way contract before the NBA’s deadline.

Bad news for Norvel Pelle, questionable call by the Philadelphia 76ers (more on that here).

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But in the NBA, just like in life, when one door closes, another opens, and when an underperforming championship contender has max cap/roster flexibility going into the deadline, you know a move is about to be made.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, could the 76ers, the ten, nine, eight, 76ers, be in the market for a center?

In the words of Kevin GarnettAnything is Possible!’

It’s no secret Elton Brand has made bolstering the paint a priority over his tenure helming this great franchise.  Since coming to power in the Fall of 2018, Brand has made moves to acquire or sign six power forwards or centers – seven if you count Tobias Harris – versus only eight players at the one, two, and three combined.  Despite entering free agency with only one point guard on the roster in the supersized Ben Simmons, Brand didn’t address the position until four days into free agency with a veteran minimum one-year contract to Raul Neto, and a non-guaranteed to Trey Burke.

So far, this strategy has produced mixed results, as Philly certainly possesses the biggest team in the NBA, but in games without Joel Embiid, their winning percentage remains woefully underwhelming.

As crazy as it sounds for a team currently committed to pay Al Horford $109 million over the next four years – okay, technically the fourth year is only partially guaranteed for $14.5 million – adding a center who can guard the rim, hit shots from beyond the arc, and maybe switch a little bit on the defensive end of the court could go a long way to securing a top-4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Fortunately, there’s a player who fits that bill who is currently unhappy in his NBA home and has long been a target of the Sixers: Dewayne Dedmon.

A 7-foot tall center who actually signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the club back in 2014, Dedmon has made a name for himself as one of the NBA’s premier spot-starting fives. With a stable base, long arms, and a propensity for blocking shots, Dedmon has appeared in 388 NBA games to date on five different teams, and has continued to progress with each subsequent stop along his journey – at least until this season, his first on a three-year, $40 million deal with the Sacramento Kings.

Despite adding a deceptively effective 3 point shot to his repertoire during his two-year tenure with the Atlanta Hawks, the Kings just can’t seem to find a consistent role for their $40 million man, much to the chagrin of the man himself.

With ex-Sixers second-rounder Richaun Holmes locked into the starting five spot for 33 of the team’s 40 games so far this season, Dedmon has seen his stats drop to near career-lows as a part-time reserve – dipping from 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in 25 minutes a night to 4.9 points and four rebounds in a little less than 14 minutes of action.

No wonder Dedmon publicly asked for a trade, a ‘business decision’ that cost him 50 large in fines from his home club.

So with a deceptively massive need at backup center and an unhappy player looking for a home on a contender, is there any chance the Philadelphia 76ers finally bring Dedmon back to Philly after being publicly linked to him over the summer?

Well, that depends on what else goes down at the deadline.

While it would be easy to link the two parties once more and suggest a three-for-one deal shipping Mike Scott, Zhaire Smith, and Jonah Bolden to Sactown for Dedmon’s deal, it’s simply not that, well, simple.

For one, the Kings may not even want to add three players to their roster as they gear up for an eventual playoff push behind fourth-year head coach Luke Walton. Furthermore, the Kings may actually have better trade packages out there for a player with Dedmon’s very in-demand skill set.

Would Elton Brand even want to cash in the remainder of his contractual war chest for yet another center? Maybe so, but would Josh Harris and company let that happen? Could we have an NJ Devils-esque mutiny on our hands?

Next. Norvel Pelle’s hard work goes unrewarded. dark

No, as much as the Philadelphia 76ers could use a player like Dewayne Dedmon, he’s far from the highest priority on the team’s wishlist. However, if players start coming off the board and another Kings-Sixers trade looks like the best option left to bolster this team, it may be worth monitoring over the forthcoming weeks.