Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
Unloaded last week, Dedmon joining 76ers
MIAMI — The one-week whirlwind of former Miami Heat center Dewayne Dedmon on Monday landed him on a third team in six days, now positioned for four matchups this season against the Heat.
Dealt along with a 2028 secondround pick by the Heat to the San Antonio Spurs in a move to open roster space and space below the luxury tax, Dedmon has reached an agreement with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Spurs, who sent $110,000 to the Heat in the transaction, the minimum required to complete a trade, had waived Dedmon at last Thursday’s NBA trading deadline, acquiring the 33-year-old center solely as a means of obtaining the draft pick from the Heat.
Dedmon fell out of favor with the Heat after exchanging words with coach Erik Spoelstra during a Jan. 10 victory over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, suspended for the following game by the Heat for conduct detrimental to the team. Dedmon was ejected from that game against the Thunder for flinging a therapy device onto the court as he retreated to the Heat locker room.
Dedmon, who already had been replaced in the Heat rotation by two-way player Orlando Robinson, the undrafted center out of Fresno State, only played one more game for the Heat after the suspension, a 12-minute stint in relief of Bam Adebayo in the Heat’s Feb. 4 road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Heat’s parting with Dedmon came with second-year center Omer Yurtseven returning to the court for contact work from November ankle surgery, expected to return to action after the team’s Feb. 16-23 All-Star break.
Dedmon in July had signed a two-year, $9 million free-agent contract with the Heat, with only the first season guaranteed. Dedmon now will collect the full $4.7 million on that deal for this season, in addition to a prorated share of the veteran minimum from the 76ers. That means, based on a previous buyout from the Detroit Pistons, Dedmon is collecting checks this season from the Pistons, Heat, Spurs and, now, 76ers.
By dealing Dedmon, the Heat created nearly $5 million of space below the luxury tax to add one or two players from the buyout market.
Players must be waived by March 1 in order to be playoff eligible on another team’s roster.
The 76ers had been seeking backup depth behind starting center Joel Embiid, who has dealt with a variety of injuries, with NBA journeyman Montrzel Harrell having served as Embiid’s backup.
The 76ers are the lone team that Heat have yet to face this season, with that four-game season series opening Feb. 27 in Philadelphia. The 76ers visit Miami-Dade Arena March 1 and April 6.
Dedmon’s agreement with the 76ers reunited him with former Heat power forward P.J. Tucker, who left the Heat in free agency in July.
It will be Dedmon’s second stint with the 76ers. He played for Philadelphia under a pair of 10-day contracts in Jan. 2014, averaging 3.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in 11 appearances during that run under a different front office and coaching staff.
In the wake of former Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas being selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Spoelstra said it was a fitting tribute.
“That was the Dolphins team when I first got down here I became familiar with,” Spoelstra said. “I had not followed the Dolphins before that. And Zach Thomas was one of the guys that made you watch him, the collisions, and mini car wrecks every time he was involved in a play.
He was really fun to watch and he had an incredible career and it’s really cool to see him get the ultimate reward for that.”