NBA

The 1 Way Kings’ Center Dewayne Dedmon is Just Like Lakers’ Star Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis is one of the best big men in the NBA today, thanks to his versatility on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Now in his eighth season — and his first with the Los Angeles Lakers — Davis boasts career averages of 24.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game, all with a field goal percentage well over 50 percent. Numbers like those place him among the all-time elite.

Few people would ever think to compare Davis to little-known Sacramento Kings center Dewayne Dedmon. Yet Dedmon recently made headlines in a way that resembled Davis to a T. Let’s take a look at the ways in which Davis and Dedmon are not alike, as well as the one thing that the two very different big men have in common.

The ways Anthony Davis and Dewayne Dedmon are not alike

It’s only logical to begin by laying out the multitude of ways in which Davis and Dedmon have nothing in common. Simply put, a vast talent gulf separates the two big men. Anthony Davis, as you likely know, is one of the truly transformative players of his time — a superstar in every sense. At just 26 years old, Davis reckons to be the Lakers’ cornerstone player for years to come.

Dewayne Dedmon, meanwhile, is a 30-year-old center who has spent a good chunk of his NBA career playing off the bench. Averaging just 18 minutes per game, Dedmon is a lightly-used role player. He has averaged only 6.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game over seven years in the league.

In other words, Dedmon’s production falls far below that of Davis’. And naturally, so does his name recognition. Yet Dedmon deserves some credit for having revived his career while with the Atlanta Hawks in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. While with the Hawks, Dedmon turned himself into a reliable 3-point shooter, knocking down nearly 40% of his long-distance shots in 2018-19.

The one thing Davis and Dedmon have in common

Dedmon chose to leave the Hawks last summer in free agency, and he signed a three-year deal worth $40 million with the Kings. By all accounts, Dedmon hit the jackpot, capitalizing on his recent success as a floor-stretching big man. Yet the move puzzled many commentators, who rightly pointed out that Dedmon would be competing for minutes with younger players like Marvin Bagley III and Richaun Holmes. 

Just as predicted, the Kings have focused on developing their young big men. As a result, the veteran Dedmon struggled to get playing time, averaging just 13.8 minutes per game. 

Dedmon’s frustration boiled over. In late December, Dedmon publicly stated that he wanted to be traded to a team “where my talents are appreciated.” A few days later, the NBA fined Dedmon $50,000 for his comments, which violate league policy. That sum exactly matches the fine that Davis incurred the previous winter when his agent Rich Paul publicly requested a trade out of New Orleans.

On the floor, Anthony Davis and Dewayne Dedmon are drastically different players. But they both received the same fine for their public trade demands.

Can Dedmon get out of Sacramento?

Journeyman Dewayne Dedmon and NBA star Anthony Davis don't have much in common on the floor, but there is one shared thread between them.
Dewayne Dedmon. | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Now that we’ve established the one thing Davis and Dedmon have in common —  a $50,000 sized hole in their wallets — the next logical question is, what will happen to Dedmon?

Davis, of course, got his wish to leave New Orleans. But there was obviously a lot more interest around the league in acquiring a player of Davis’ caliber.
Dewayne Dedmon certainly has the kinds of skills that could make him an impactful backup for a team in playoff contention. He could also provide a steady veteran presence for a young time, provided he’s able to get enough minutes to keep him happy. According to some sources, the Hawks may have an interest in getting Dedmon back. Yet, so far trade talks have stalled, apparently because GM Vlade Divac expects too much in return.