OAKLAND, Calif. — Dewayne Dedmon couldn't be happier these days.
On Monday, the rookie center signed with the Orlando Magic for the remainder of the season, and his contract also will give him the opportunity to make the Magic's roster next season, too.
"It's definitely exciting," Dedmon said after the Magic completed their shootaround Tuesday morning to prepare for their game Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
"It's been a long rookie year for me. I've been on three teams this year, and now I'm here and I've got the opportunity to stay for the rest of the year. It's really exciting. It's the best feeling I had all year."
Earlier this season, Dedmon had short stints with the Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers but didn't stick with either team.
The Magic signed him to a pair of 10-day contracts and, once the second 10-day contract ended, decided to keep him for the rest of the season.
Through Monday, Dedmon had played sparingly for Orlando. He's behind Nik Vucevic and Kyle O'Quinn on the depth chart at center, and he had played in three games for a total of six minutes.
Arriving in the middle of the season, with limited practice time due to the team's busy game schedule, left him with a steep learning curve.
"I always like to put guys on the floor where they can find success, and that won't change, and that's kind of been the process with him," coach Jacque Vaughn said. "I want him to be on the floor when he's comfortable. He's continuing to learn what we do on both ends of the floor, and [it's a] good thing he's going to be around a while. So it's not like it's a crash course anymore for him.
"He'll be on the floor and he'll have a chance to find some success now."
Dedmon, 24, is hoping he'll remain with the Magic after this season.
"It's a great feeling to have a home now," he said. "I've been on three teams this year. So to be able to call a place home for the rest of this year and, with how long my contract is, to be able to have that opportunity is definitely a great feeling."
Vucevic makes progress
Vucevic, who turned his left ankle during the team's game Friday and didn't practice Sunday, started for the Magic alongside Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Maurice Harkless and O'Quinn.
The Warriors were without two key players. Andre Iguodala (right knee tendinitis) and Andrew Bogut (left ankle) did not play.
Vaughn and Warriors coach Mark Jackson competed against each other for years as players, but they got to know each other a little bit during Jackson's stints as a broadcaster for the Yes Network, ESPN and ABC.
"When we played against each other, it was competitive," Vaughn said. "I always appreciated what he brought to the table as a player. I think he's done a good job of really leading his team, and that's what he was on the floor. You could tell that he has the respect of the guys that he's coaching, and he's able to talk to those guys. You can definitely see it from afar, in my opinion.
"He's done a heck of a job."
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