Amid all the frenzy surrounding the James Harden trade and Kyrie Irving’s personal leave, one major story that has been lost in the Brooklyn Nets tumultuous season is the loss of their starting shooting guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Spencer who was named the starter over Nets former shooting guard Caris LeVert, got injured in just the third game of the season. An MRI confirmed a partial ACL tear for Spencer and he was ruled out for the remainder of the season. The Nets guard had surgery to repair the partially torn ACL just three weeks ago, but already he is back on the court preparing to make his comeback.
Spencer Dinwiddie Already Back on the Court
In a recent video from Alex Schiffer of The Athletic, Spencer is seen shooting pre-game threes from the wing before the Nets took on the Miami Heat at Barclays Center. Spencer who has not played in a game since December 27 has been sorely missed by this Nets team, especially following the James Harden trade.
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Nets head coach Steve Nash has detailed Spencer’s importance to the team in the past. “He’s a terrific player that was able to fill multiple roles for us and he’s a great athlete on top of that,” Nets Head Coach Steve Nash told reporters on a recent Zoom call following the injury. “He’ll be missed by us. But, more importantly, we all feel for Spence and just look forward to him being healthy again and back on the floor.”
Nets Granted Disabled Player Exception for Spencer Dinwiddie
The Nets were granted a $5.7 million disabled player exception to compensate for the loss of Spencer. The Nets have until April 19 to use the exception. Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report the news. The $5.7 million is representative of half of Spencer’s salary for the 2020-21 season. The Nets will be able to use the compensation to sign, trade, or claim off waivers any player making less than $5.7 million. However, the player has to be on an expiring or one-year contract
The Nets will most likely exercise the disabled player exception on Spencer sooner rather than later as they are in dire need of defense and rebounding. Still, there are people around the Nets organization that are not ruling out a 2021 return for him. One of those people is Nets General Manager Sean Marks who knows that his starting shooting guard is capable of anything that he sets his mind to. “I’ll never rule Spencer out of anything,” Brooklyn’s General Manager said during a recent appearance on WFAN with Evan Roberts and Craig Carton. “Because there are very few guys who have shown the resilience he has to come back from any injury. He loves to prove people wrong, and has a chip on his shoulder,” he said. “But, an ACL tear is a serious injury and he has a lot at stake, so while I won’t rule him out, it’s going to be very difficult. There are a lot of things at stake here, but we want what is best for Spencer long-term.”
Spencer has also hinted at a potential 2021 return in the past. In his first Instagram post following the injury, his response to whether or not he would return was “crazier things have happened.”