Aside from one blip in Game 3, the second-seeded Nets have been cruising in their first-round series against the No. 7 Boston Celtics. Brooklyn has a chance to seal the series with Tuesday’s Game 5 at Barclays Center.
At the heart of Brooklyn’s operation, of course, is its Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. The trio were essentially unstoppable in Game 4, going for a combined 104 points to lead the Nets in their 141-126 win. That level of firepower from just three players has left limited scoring opportunities for others on the roster.
It begs the question: Will Spencer Dinwiddie have a better chance to flourish somewhere else?
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Dinwiddie Poised to Thrive on a Different Team?
Dinwiddie averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists last season, a stat combo that rivals that of some of the league’s premier guards. But a partially torn ACL suffered in December derailed his 2020-21 season, and now the question is where he’ll be next season.
It’s been widely reported that Dinwiddie will decline his $12.6 million player option for the 2021-22 season. He recently confirmed as much to Forbes’ Shlomo Sprung.
“I’m gonna be more than healthy by the time free agency starts, so just from a dollars perspective you kind of have to,” Dinwiddie told Sprung. “$12 million isn’t market value for a starting point guard. It’s probably about half, 20-25. So obviously it’s pretty concrete that I’m gonna opt out.”
One NBA writer has some thoughts on where Dinwiddie might end up.
Bleacher Report’s Mandela Namaste had the Nets guard atop his list in an article with the headline: “NBA Free Agents Who Could Blow Up on New Teams in 2021.” Namaste thinks Dinwiddie is poised for big things elsewhere:
You could argue that he’d feast more than ever alongside the Nets’ fleet of scorers, but there is such a thing as too much talent, and with the 28-year-old not quite good enough to be a star and overqualified to be a role player, he’s currently adrift on the roster.
With some salary machinations, teams like the Pelicans and Warriors could sign Dinwiddie, fill major roster holes and give him significant opportunities for growth in the process.
For the record, Dinwiddie has said he’d like to remain with the Nets.
“Next season doesn’t start until October, so I know for a fact that I’m gonna be healthy. So that’s gonna be more than fine,” Dinwiddie told Sprung. “And we’ll just see what comes of it through negotiations with (general manager) Sean (Marks) and (owner) Joe (Tsai). And obviously I hope to stay a Net and I’d like to be there a long time.”
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Dinwiddie in Store for Big Payday
To Dinwiddie’s point, he’s currently underpaid for the value he represents as a starting-caliber NBA point guard who is capable of 20 points and six assists a night.
And to that point, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer labeled Dinwiddie as an under-the-radar free agent who is in store for a huge payday.
From Fischer’s recent Bleacher Report article:
Signing-and-trading Dinwiddie is one of the few remaining options that the Brooklyn Nets have to upgrade their pricey roster, and the long list of potential trade suitors back in March should forecast a similar group this August.
The Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic all showed interest in Dinwiddie before the trade deadline, sources said. The sign-and-trade possibility will open up a few more doors beyond the teams that can easily clear cap room, too.
“I’m a big Dinwiddie fan,” said (a) personnel evaluator. “He can be a really good third guard off the bench. And someone’s gonna get overpaid…”
Fischer concluded that “this summer’s complicated marketplace may carve an opening for (Dinwiddie) to reach an average annual value above $15 million.”