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Magic's 10-day signees Dewayne Dedmon and Adonis Thomas face steep learning curve

WASHINGTON — Dewayne Dedmon and Adonis Thomas are experiencing the NBA equivalent of a whirlwind right now.

This morning, the Orlando Magic formally signed them to 10-day contracts.

A short while later, Dedmon and Thomas joined their new team at a shootaround at Verizon Center to prepare for tonight’s game against the Washington Wizards.

“You’ve just got to adjust quick and just make it happen as fast as you can,” Dedmon said.

Dedmon is a 7-foot-tall rookie center who played a total of 15 games this season for the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers signed him to a pair of 10-day contracts in January.

Thomas is a 6-foot-7 rookie swingman who had never been under contract with an NBA team during the regular season until today.

“It’s a dream come true,” Thomas said. “I’m excited for the opportunity.”

Dedmon, 24, and Thomas, 20, weren’t selected in the 2013 NBA Draft and were with NBA D-League teams in recent weeks.

In 15 games with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Dedmon averaged 15.2 points and 13.1 rebounds per game.

In 26 games with the Springfield Armor, Thomas averaged 16.2 points per game and made 46.9 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Until their signings, the Magic had just 12 players on their roster following the buyout of Glen Davis’ contract.

A team with 12 active players can drop to having zero players on its inactive list for up to two weeks at a time, so the Magic needed to add to their roster.

Dedmon and Thomas will have to overcome some hurdles to be useful to the Magic on the court.

“I think we introduced them to the group this morning, and that’s where we’re at right now,” coach Jacque Vaughn said before the team’s shootaround. “So they’ll get a chance to talk to some of the coaches a little bit and talk about our coverages and schemes and kind of go from there.”

Asked if he has a sense of how Dedmon and Thomas can help the team, Vaughn answered, “Not yet.”

Usually, rookies have an entire summer, an entire training camp and an entire preseason to learn a team’s system.

Dedmon and Thomas have only a few hours before tonight’s game against the Wizards.

“You can give them a small sample of what we’re doing,” Vaughn said. “But it’s just like at the beginning of the year. It doesn’t matter who it was. In 10 days, you don’t know a lot of what we’re doing. It’s the same way in the middle of the year.”

Teams may begin to sign individual players to 10-day contracts in early January.

A team is permitted to sign an individual player to just two 10-day contracts in a season. After the second 10-day contract, a team may keep a player only by signing him for the remainder of the season.

Dedmon and Thomas of course would love to remain with the Magic through the end of the season.

“It’s definitely exciting to be able to get another call-up to get another opportunity to play at this level,” Dedmon said. “It’s definitely exciting.”

The Magic hadn't signed anyone to a 10-day contract since the franchise signed Andre Barrett on March 31, 2005.

“I’m excited for the opportunity," Thomas said. "I’m excited that the Magic have seen something in me and giving me this opportunity. It’s on me to play hard and do whatever I can. If Coach throws me in there, it’s great. But if not, it’s on me to be a great teammate, a great guy.”

Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at jbrobbins@tribune.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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