After seeing Jermaine O’Neal suffer a strained knee and groin during Saturday’s game against the Jazz, the Warriors will turn to free agency for a replacement, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Golden State intends to sign Dewayne Dedmon, who was with the team in training camp.
Dedmon, a 7’0″ center, declared his intent for the draft this past spring, but wasn’t one of the 60 players selected in June. He joined Golden State as a camp invitee, averaging 3.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG in five preseason games, and was believed to be in good position to earn a regular season roster spot. The Warriors ultimately cut the 24-year-old, but could re-sign him without a corresponding roster move, since the club has an open roster spot. Dedmon’s D-League rights had been retained by the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote earlier today that Dedmon would be a candidate to join the Warriors, and noted that the team even briefly considered asking assistant coach Brian Scalabrine if he’d come out of retirement to replace O’Neal. It’s not clear when Dedmon’s signing will become official, or how many minutes he’ll play after he does sign. In O’Neal’s absence, some combination of Marreese Speights, Ognjen Kuzmic, and Dedmon could back up Andrew Bogut at center.