Dewayne Dedmon opting out of Spurs contract

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Dewayne Dedmon made quite a ruckus during the playoffs – especially if you consider all the noise he prompted from people calling for the Spurs to include him more regularly in their rotation, particularly against the Rockets.

Those minor controversies in big moments overshadowed a quietly productive season in which Dedmon ranked second among centers in defensive real plus-minus (behind only Rudy Gobert).

Now, it’s time for Dedmon – who signed a two-year deal last summer that would have paid $3,028,410 next season – to capitalize.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

San Antonio Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon will decline his $3 million player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told The Vertical.

Dedmon is in line for a major raise – one San Antonio might not be able to afford. Some teams might even rate him as starting-caliber, but unless those teams need a center and have cap space – a rare combination in this market – Dedmon might have to settle for something like the non-taxpayer mid-level exception (which offers a starting salary of $8,406,000). This is probably the last chance for Dedmon, who turns 28 before the season, to get a big contract.

The Spurs have Dedmon’s Non-Bird Rights (technically a form of Bird Rights), which allow them to exceed the cap to pay him a starting salary of $3,477,600 (120% his previous salary). Any more and San Antonio would have to use cap space or its own mid-level exception.

Perhaps, Dedmon warrants that.

The athletic 7-footer is a mobile defender, good rim protector and quality rebounder. But he still fouls too much, and he hasn’t displayed quite enough defensive awareness to earn a coach’s trust.

Dedmon is limited offensively, but he finishes well on pick-and-rolls. He can play a role on that end.

Dedmon’s 18 minutes per game this season were a career high. Would his production hold up with more responsibility?

His defensive versatility is welcomed on a team with LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol and David Lee (the latter two of whom can also become free agents). But Dedmon might have become a luxury the Spurs can no longer afford – especially if they chase Chris Paul.