Heat’s Head Coach Delivers Strong Message on 7-Foot Center’s Debut

Dewayne Dedmon

Getty Dewayne Dedmon #14 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after dunking against the New York Knicks in the first half at State Farm Arena on February 09, 2020.

It’s been over a week since the Miami Heat signed veteran Dewayne Dedmon and on April 14, he finally made his debut during the team’s dreadful 123-106 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets had such a sizeable lead in the fourth quarter that Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra used the remaining six minutes of the game to give his entire bench playing time. Dedmon, 31, made the most of his minutes. He notched three points, five rebounds, and two blocked shots.

It’s an impressive feat considering All-Star Bam Adebayo, in his 30 minutes of play, only tallied one more rebound than Dedmon, and Spoelstra took note.

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“Those were important,” Spoelstra said of Dedmon’s debut minutes. “He felt like he played 30 minutes in those six minutes. He’s been doing a lot of work, condition work, drill work, to try to fast track this.”

“You could see, though, that his fitness level is high,” Spoelstra continued. “It’s just a matter of getting those basketball competitive reps. But he’s big. He’s a great communicator out there. And he has experience. So you can see where he could help.”

The Heat obtained Dedmon, who had not played an NBA game since March 2020, as they were in desperate need of a backup center if Adebayo was out. Miami also needed a big man to help space the floor, and Dedmon, who’s a true 7-footer, is already looking like a great fit to fill that role.

The Heat Could Sign Another Player Who Hasn’t Played Yet This Season

Dewayne Dedmon

GettyDewayne Dedmon #14 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after dunking against the New York Knicks in the first half at State Farm Arena on February 09, 2020.

There are only three requirements needed in order for the Heat to add another player: he either was waived by April 9, hasn’t played at all this season (like Dedmon, who was signed to a veteran’s minimum contract), or was signed to a 10-day contract before the deadline.

While the Heat were required to add a 14th player, per league rules, Miami doesn’t have to fill their final open roster spot. However, since Victor Oladipo reinjured his right knee, it makes sense to add some insurance to the bench.

South Florida Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman created a list of players that have yet to play an official NBA game this season:

Jeremy Lin, Thon Maker, Ian Mahinmi, Greg Monroe, Skal Labissiere, Jarrett Jack, Brandon Knight, Frank Mason, Cam Reynolds, Amir Johnson, Glenn Robinson III, JR Smith, Lance Stephenson, Jodie Meeks, Joe Johnson, Troy Daniels, Allonzo Trier, Courtney Lee, Wilson Chandler, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Allen Crabbe, Gerald Green, Kyle Korver, Jordan Crawford, Shabazz Napier and, yes, Dion Waiters, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers.

As long as the new player is signed by May 16, he will be eligible able to play during the postseason.

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