There’s a good chance that forward Ersan Ilyasova and center Dewayne Dedmon will be the starting frontcourt duo for the new-look Hawks in 2017-18.
The team officially announced the signings of the two free agents Friday after they previously agreed to terms. Ilyasova re-signed with the Hawks, who acquired him from the Sixers in a February trade, and Dedmon played last season with the Spurs.
Dedmon, 28, signed with the Spurs as a free agent last summer and went on to set career highs in games (76), minutes (17.5), points (5.1) and rebounds (6.5). At 7-feet and 245 pounds Dedmon is a strong rebounder and shot blocker as well as an efficient scorer around the basket.
Dedmon signed a two-year, $14 million contract with a player option for the second season. He opted out of the $3 million due on his Spurs contract to become a free agent.
Dedmon said the Hawks were an attractive destination because of coach Mike Budenholzer, a former Spurs assistant.
“That definitely gave me more confidence knowing that the systems are pretty similar,” Dedmon said.
The Hawks have a hole at center after new general manager Travis Schlenk traded center Dwight Howard before the draft. Dedmon and holdover Mike Muscala figure to get the bulk of the minutes at center in 2017-18.
Schlenk was a Warriors executive when the team signed Dedmon after he wasn’t selected in the 2013 draft out of USC. He played just six games for the Warriors and was shuttled back and forth between the Development League.
Dedmon signed a 10-day contract with the Sixers in January 2014 and two 10-day contracts with the Magic in February that year. He parlayed that stint into a contract with the Magic and played a total of 117 games for them over the next two seasons with averages of 10.9 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per 36 minutes.
“To be able to say it’s my fifth season in the NBA, it’s definitely a blessing,” Dedmon said.
Ilyasova played in 26 games (12 starts) for the Hawks last season and averaged 10.4 points in 24.3 minutes per game. After Paul Milsap signed with the Nuggets, Ilyasova projects to be the starting power forward, with first-round draft pick John Collins as the backup.
Ilyasova, 30, is the most accomplished Hawks shooter with a 36.6 percent career mark on 3-pointers. The 12-year veteran also will be the most experienced player on the roster and one of seven returnees.
Ilyasova signed a one-year contract for $6 million.
“I know one thing for sure, this team always plays competitive no matter what happens with this free agency,” Ilyasova said. “Obviously we are a young team. It’s all about bringing the experience, share with the young guys and push them to play at a high level.”
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