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The Dewayne Dedmon contract was a mistake

The Heat overpaid Dedmon to be a trade chip — then traded him in a salary dump.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The Miami Heat traded Dewayne Dedmon, along with a 2028 second-round pick, to the San Antonio Spurs for cash considerations. It was an anticlimactic end to an abysmal season for Dedmon. His argument in a timeout huddle — and subsequent ejection — last month merely removed any doubt.

As I mentioned back then, some thought that the Heat gave Dedmon a contract with a $4.7 million salary to serve as a trade chip. After all, the same thing happened with Meyers Leonard two years before. The Heat overpaid him with a $9 million salary after he lost his token starter job and went out of the rotation during the Bubble run.

No matter. The Heat used Leonard’s contract to trade for Trevor Ariza. Though he didn't turn around the season, Ariza offered a necessary salve for a team that hadn’t filled the role of Jae Crowder. (Remember Moe Harkless?)

Overpaying Dedmon didn't give the Heat anything of value in return this year. Miami might as well not have signed him over the summer. After all, a rookie on a two-way contract — Orlando Robinson — replaced Dedmon as Bam Adebayo’s backup once he got a chance. And we knew towards the end of last season that Dedmon’s productivity had tailed off.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that the salary-dump move puts the Heat $5 million under the luxury tax. But simply undoing a mistake doesn’t deserve any credit. Why sign Dedmon if they were just going to get rid of him — especially considering he often hurt his team when he played?

Yes, the left ankle injury to Omer Yurtseven that required surgery put the Heat in a bad position. Dedmon had to play. P.J. Tucker could play as a backup five in spurts with Miami, but Caleb Martin was already stretching himself as a starting power forward. And the drop-off between Adebayo and Dedmon grew to a chasm that cratered Dedmon’s trade value.