The Miami Heat picked up Dewayne Dedmon three days ago and the veteran center was eligible to suit up on Thursday. However, Dedmon remained a “DNP-Coach’s Decision” against the Los Angeles Lakers as fans keep asking when he’ll make his South Beach debut.
It appears as if the 7-footer will enter the Heat rotation on Sunday night versus the Portland Trail Blazers. He has officially joined the team after clearing all health and safety protocols. The team announced the move prior to Thursday’s game and revealed the big man will wear No. 21.
Dedmon last played in 2020 before the COVID-19 shutdown. He averaged 5.8 points and 5.7 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game while splitting time between the Atlanta Hawks (10 games) and Sacramento Kings (34 games). He shot 40% from the field and 83.3% from the foul line.
The 31-year-old should play a vital role off the bench in giving starter Bam Adebayo a breather. The Heat have slowly been incorporating rookie center Precious Achiuwa into the offense, but they don’t want to stunt their top draft pick’s development. Achiuwa earned praise from Adebayo who said the “young fella” reminded him of himself. But the Heat can’t afford to endure Achiuwa’s growing pains in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Dedmon gives them a reliable seven-year veteran to plug in and play.
“I just think it’s a great fit. It’s also a pretty good story,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said of Dedmon. “He started out with us in summer league. We’ve always been a fan of his grit, to be able to get into this league and then create the career that he has. We’ve always just kind of kept in touch and connected with him. And the timing was great for us.”
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Jimmy Butler Goes Viral Vs. Lakers
Leave it to Jimmy Butler to go viral on the biggest stage. The Heat forward was morphing into “the closer” late in the fourth quarter on Thursday night when he decided to send a message.
He was dribbling around the perimeter with Markieff Morris glued to him, then Andre Drummond switched over to pick him up. Butler, without flinching, pulled back and drilled a 15-footer in his face. After the bucket, Butler wagged his finger at Drummond and mouthed the words: “Don’t do that.”
Win Bam Adebayo’s Basketball Sneakers
The Heat is holding a contest where fans can win a pair of custom sneakers designed by Bam Adebayo. To enter, simply visit the team’s website and fill out the form. You must be at least 18 years old to participate. Remember, Adebayo inked a shoe and apparel deal earlier this year with Nike’s Jordan brand after Butler left the athletics company.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it will soon, even just based on the simple fact that everybody knows who MJ is and what he’s done for the game of basketball,” Adebayo said in a statement back in February. “Being able to say that I’m part of the Brand makes me sit back and really cherish everything. I’m looking forward to the experience.”