Erik Spoelstra called a heated discussion with Dewayne Dedmon just before his ejection in last night’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder “a regular Tuesday night.” And yes, Jimmy Butler and Spoelstra argued with each other during a regular season game last March. But does this particular interaction signal that Dedmon’s numbers with the Miami Heat are numbered?
Just before the argument on the bench, Dedmon — and other his Heat teammates — played bad defense. We can surmise that a frustrating season for Dedmon boiled over in the skirmish. He is a -88 for the season. It’s become common to watch a Heat lead dwindle as soon as Dedmon checks in for Bam Adebayo.
Here's the play preceding the Dedmon argument and ejection. Dedmon doesn't provide much interference on OKC's transition possession, doesn't get back to protect the rim. Not much went right for any Heat defender on this play. Unclear if this is related to the ejection. https://t.co/T3BdVKAoAe pic.twitter.com/d4L7FvefE3— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) January 11, 2023
As I’ve mentioned before, some speculated that the Heat overpaid Dedmon — he’s earning a $4.7 million salary this season — to use his contract in a mid-season trade. Miami may have done that when they signed Meyers Leonard to a $9 million salary shortly after he was relegated to the bench during the team’s 2020 Finals run. The Heat then used that salary to trade for Trevor Ariza — after, of course, Leonard yelled an anti-Semitic slur on a Twitch livestream.
The Heat would have probably traded Leonard if he hadn’t used the slur. Miami also probably plan to trade Dedmon even if he hadn’t yelled at Caron Butler and Spoelstra last night.
For now, Orlando Robinson should continue to play as Adebayo’s backup. Dedmon’s argument and subsequent ejection may have hastened the inevitable.