The 4-16 Hawks have been predictably bad this season, but two of their biggest bright spots have come at the same position.
Centers Dewayne Dedmon and John Collins lead Atlanta in win shares. Dedmon has been even more efficient in an increased offensive role, and he remains an effective defender. But on a team going nowhere this season, there’s logic in giving more playing time to Collins, a rookie who has shown significant promise.
Now, Mike Budenholzer has no choice.
Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon is expected to miss the next three-to-six weeks due to a left tibia stress reaction.
Collins also plays power forward. So, with him presumably shifting a higher share of his playing time to center now, Mike Muscala, Ersan Ilyasova and Luke Babbitt could all be in line for more minutes.
It’ll be exciting to see more of Collins, and Dedmon’s absence could push Atlanta toward a higher draft pick. This could be good for the franchise long-term.
It’s obviously bad news for Dedmon, who holds a $6.3 million player option for next season. But he has already shown plenty, and he’ll have time to display more upon his return.