Orlando Magic Sign Dewayne Dedmon, Adonis Thomas: Call-Up Breakdown

One was called "a first-round pick, no question" by his college coach, who explained by simply saying, "He's 7-foot, 250 and he runs like a deer." The other was believed to be NBA Draft lottery-bound since high school, hailed by ESPN.com as "a coach's dream who wins not only games but championships."

Yet for both Dewayne Dedmon and Adonis Thomas, the product has never quite matched the tools; that's why, after each spent two unspectacular years in college, both went undrafted this past June and were left to work their way back up to those sky-high expectations in the NBA D-League.

And both have since shown signs of blooming late, emerging as arguably the two NBADL prospects with the greatest upside. So it's fitting that the next step in their growth will take place with the same team, the Orlando Magic, who in one fell swoop have grabbed two potential diamonds in the rough.

SEE OFFICIAL RELEASE ON THEIR 10-DAY CONTRACTS

Dedmon, four years older than Thomas yet just as inexperienced because of his unique background, was the early riser, earning GATORADE Call-Ups to the Warriors in November and the Sixers in January. It appeared that he'd found a home in Philly, where he got significant minutes over two 10-day contracts and seized the opportunity, doing exactly what coaches expect of him: bringing energy, protecting the rim, cleaning the glass and running the floor. But he never found his niche offensively, and was lost in the Sixers' roster reshuffling.

PTS/36 min.FG%REB/36 min.OREB%DREB%BLK/36 min.
Santa Cruz (15 G)16.254.014.413.128.82.5
Philadelphia (11 G)8.951.711.810.023.42.2

The 20-year-old Thomas, on the other hand, has been the breakout star of the season's second half.

His Call-Up comes on the heels of his first appearance on NBADLeague.com's Prospect Watch, the reward for a stellar February in which he's averaged 22.6 points on sparkling shooting numbers (47% FG, 48% 3PFG, 83% FT). Six months after entering the pros with a large question mark next to his jumper, the 6-6 small forward was participating in the NBADL three-point contest at All-Star Weekend, ranking fourth in the league in three-point percentage (see shot chart on right). After scoring at least 20 points two times in 55 games at Memphis, he enters the NBA having scored 20+ in seven of his last nine games.

From his skill set and body type to his humbling fall from high-school sensation to college disappointment, Thomas bears an uncanny resemblance to DeQuan Jones, who shockingly made Orlando's opening night roster last season. Jones wound up playing in 63 games before joining the NBA D-League this season; Thomas gives the Magic yet another chance to strike gold.

RELATED:

Highlights: Dedmon with Santa Cruz | Thomas in Three-Point Competition

Dewayne Dedmon Experiencing Fortune, Uncertainty of 10-Day Contract (1/23)

Thomas' Top Performance: Feb. 7-9