Orlando Pinstriped Post continues its series of Orlando Magic player evaluations with this review of Dewayne Dedmon's 2013/14 season.
The Magic inked Dedmon and Adonis Thomas to the first of two 10-day contracts on February 25th. The team elected to let Thomas go after his second 10-day expired, but kept Dedmon around for the rest of the season. He made 13 appearances the rest of the way and started the team's final six games due to an injury to starting center Nik Vučević.
What went well
Dedmon can affect a game with his sheer level of energy and effort. In addition to tallying a combined 3.1 steals and blocks per 36 minutes, Dedmon plays actively on the boards and scraps for loose balls, two valuable skills for a player looking to stick at the NBA level.
Dedmon also hustles well in transition, filling the lane to draw defenses in and space the floor for pull-up three-point shooters.
What didn't go so well
Dedmon, as one might expect from a 24-year-old playing on his third team--fourth, if one counts his stint with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA D-League--in his first NBA season, at times struggled with his defensive positioning. He's perhaps a bit too eager to bite on opposing pump fakes, which can result in either his picking up a personal foul or his taking himself out of a play.
Dedmon also needs to make more efficient use of his limited offensive opportunities. After his second 10-day deal expired, the USC product converted on just 40.8 percent of his shots, a poor figure for a seven-footer who almost exclusively inside the painted area.
According to ShamSports' salary database, Dedmon remains under Orlando's control for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, though neither year is fully guaranteed. He figures to join the Magic for the Orlando Pro Summer League and could ultimately, if he makes enough progress, crack the team's rotation as a backup big off the bench.
Dedmon's rebounding and shot-blocking numbers project him as a useful player, but he'll need to refine his touch around the basket in order to prevent the Magic from effectively playing four-on-five offensively with him on the floor. It's unfair to read too deeply into the 234 minutes he spent in an Orlando uniform, which is why the Magic were wise to give themselves some time over the summer to evaluate him. It's also why I've graded his season the way I did.