Is Dewayne Dedmon a realistic possibility for the Houston Rockets?

Sacramento Kings Dewayne Dedmon (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings Dewayne Dedmon (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

With the Houston Rockets in need of additional size and 3-point shooting, could Dewayne Dedmon be a realistic target?

It’s no secret that the Houston Rockets are lacking in size, which could very well be the reason why Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has constantly opted to play the small ball lineup. This isn’t necessarily the best approach, because it forces PJ Tucker to play a boatload of minutes during the regular season.

Tucker is far too important for the Rockets postseason fate to be playing meaningless minutes, especially when it can be prevented. The Rockets obviously could use another big who can shoot the triple, and Dewayne Dedmon could fit that bill.

Dewayne Dedmon would be a great fit for a Houston Rockets team in need of size and shooting. Dedmon is 7-feet tall, which would be a welcome boost from a size standpoint, and is a career 34.8 percent shooter from downtown. During the 2018-19 season, Dedmon shot 38.2 percent from deep, which is just a glimpse of the damage he can do from downtown.

Dedmon also shot 35.5 percent from 3-point range during the 2017-18 season as well, and would be a perfect fit for a Rockets team that shoots more 3-pointers than anyone else in the league. During the 2018-19 season, the 30-year-old center averaged 10.8 points per game and 7.5 rebounds on a nightly basis.

Not counting this season, Dedmon has had a true shooting percentage of 60 percent in each of the past four seasons, which shows how much of a threat he can be on the offensive end. Dedmon has fallen out of Luke Walton’s rotation with the Sacramento Kings this season, and has made it public that he wants to be moved elsewhere because of this. Dedmon has been so disgruntled that he publicly demanded a trade, which netted him a $50,000 fine.

Dedmon has only averaged 14.5 minutes per game this season, which are his fewest minutes since the 2015-16 season. This has been an intriguing situation, because Dedmon just agreed to a $41 million dollar contract heading into the 2019-20 season, which was first reported by Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Although the USC product would be a great fit with the Rockets, there would be significant challenges of landing him, mainly because of his contractual situation. Dedmon’s best bet is to convince the Kings to buy him out, but he’d surely have value around the league so he would seem like a more likely trade option.

But Kings General Manager Vlade Divac is known to play hardball and it would seem like they would have already traded Dedmon if they were going to. A recent example of how the Kings seem to be sitting on Dedmon is the recent injury to Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell. The Mavs opted to instead trade for Golden State Warriors center Willie Cauley-Stein, but you’d have to think they checked in on Dedmon’s availability considering how he brings more to the table than Cauley-Stein.

If Dedmon is in fact traded, the Rockets wouldn’t have the ability to land him, because they’d have a hard time matching his $13.3 million in salary. If he’s bought out, the Houston Rockets should be the first ones to approach him because the fit is there.

But for as much as we’ve heard about his desire to get out of Sacramento, would Dedmon really shoot himself in the foot by agreeing to a buyout? It seems highly unlikely, but you’d have to figure the Kings would do this is he was willing to, because they would surely love to rid themselves of the remaining $14.3 million he’s guaranteed through the reminder of his contract.

But why would he be willing to wash his hands of a three-year contract that he just received? For this reason, Dedmon seems unlikely in spite of his burning desire to leave Sacramento, although he technically is only guaranteed $14.3 million up until July of 2021.

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However, as previously mentioned, Divac is known to play hardball and may possibly be forcing Dedmon’s hand by intentionally not trading him. If this is the case, maybe Dedmon gets bought out if he ultimately wants to leave that badly.