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Spurs News Nuggets: Dedmon declines player option, door open for Milutinov?

Tuesday, Shams Charania of the Vertical reported San Antonio Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon will decline his player option for $3,028,410 next season and he’s elected to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

With Dedmon opting out, he will now have a cap hold of $3,477,600 on the Spurs’ books until that cap hold is renounced (per BasketballInsiders.com). Since Dedmon only played with the Spurs for one season, the Spurs have non-bird rights for him, meaning they can go above the cap to re-sign him for that $3.5 million figure, they could use cap space to re-sign him, or they can use the mid-level exception.

The expectation is Dedmon could make more on the open market now that he showed he could be a productive defensive and athletic rim-running center, as he shared time in San Antonio both as a backup and starting center. In 76 games with the Spurs, Dedmon averaged 5.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game during the regular season. As the Spurs advanced further into the playoffs though, Dedmon saw his playing time and role reduced.

With Dedmon most likely out of the Spurs’ future because of the money he’s likely going to make on his next contract, there’s a chance the Spurs could look at bringing their 2015 first round pick, Nikola Milutinov, a 6’11 center, over to the NBA this season.

This, according to Eurohoops.net, who noted that though Milutinov is under contract with Olympiakos next season, he does have an NBA buyout in his contract.

Since the Spurs drafted Milutinov in 2015 with the 26th pick, should he sign with San Antonio, he’d have a cap hold of $1,465,920 on the Spurs’ books for next season. In 29 Euroleague regular season games with Olympiakos, Milutinov averaged 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 12 minutes per game, including 12 starts. Milutinov saw his playing time increase in the Euroleague playoffs and his team made it all the way to the Championship match, though they lost that final game.