Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon returned to the active roster on Monday evening against the Clippers, Jeff Siegel of Peachtreehoops.com reports. Dedmon missed 19 games with a left tibia stress reaction, which was expected to sideline him 3-6 weeks. Atlanta has been the league’s third-worst defensive club since the Dedmon injury in late November, Siegel notes. Dedmon, who played for the Spurs last season, signed a two-year, $12.3MM deal with the Hawks in July. He holds a player option for next season.
In other news involving the Southeast Division:
- Magic swingman Evan Fournier shot just 27.5% from the field during the team’s first three games in January and it’s clear he misses injured center Nikola Vucevic, as John Denton of the team’s website explains. Vucevic is Fournier’s best friend on the team and the Euros feed off each other. Vucevic suffered a broken bone in his left hand just before Christmas and is out 6-8 weeks. “Definitely, we have great chemistry and there’s no secret to that,” Fournier told Denton. “No more two-man game with him out.”
- Heat rookie guard Derrick Walton Jr. has only 14 days of NBA service remaining on his two-way contract, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel notes. That was a factor in the team’s decision to send the University of Michigan product to the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce on Sunday despite injuries to two wing players. He has appeared in 12 games with the Heat. If he returns to the Heat and reaches the 45-day limit, he must either spend the rest of the season in the G League, be offered a standard contract or be released.
- Rookie Bam Adebayo is likely to drop out of the Heat’s rotation due to a logjam in the frontcourt, Winderman opines in his weekly mailbag. Adebayo’s energy is admirable but he’s prone to defensive mistakes, Winderman explains. For a team fighting for a playoff spot, the club is best served by dividing the minutes at power forward and center among veterans Hassan Whiteside, Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson, Winderman adds.