Under-the-Radar Team Emerges as a Favorite to Land Nets Standout: Report

Spencer Dinwiddie

Getty Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets speaks to the media during NBA All-Star weekend in 2020.

The 2021 NBA Draft is now just hours away, which means the beginning of free agency is not far behind.

For the Brooklyn Nets, both will be important tools as they look to patch a roster that has the talent to compete for a championship next season.

Still, a little more depth would go a long way.

Which leads the Nets to the question of Spencer Dinwiddie, who missed most of last season with a partial ACL tear but is only two seasons removed from averaging 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game.

Whether or not Dinwiddie signs with the Nets will boil down to the offer they extend to the 28-year-old guard, who is set to hit unrestricted free agency after declining the player option on the final year of his contract in June.

Meanwhile, one under-the-radar team appears poised to make a strong run at Dinwiddie if a few things don’t break their way.

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New Orleans Pelicans Could Be Suitor for Dinwiddie

The Pelicans finished with a 31-41 record last season, failing to qualify for the playoffs for the third straight season. But with two young All-Stars on the team in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, new head coach Willie Green said his team is “really close to taking the next step,” according to ESPN.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise to see the Pelicans emerge as a potential landing spot for Dinwiddie. New Orleans reportedly is pursuing free agent Kyle Lowry, and incumbent point guard Lonzo Ball could be on his way out. If both of those things break poorly for the Pelicans, multiple NBA insiders expect New Orleans to be in the picture for Dinwiddie.

“Given the understandable pessimism in circulation about Pelicans’ ability to win the Lowry Sweepstakes in competition with a number of teams closer to true contention, New Orleans has also been increasingly mentioned as a likely suitor for Spencer Dinwiddie,” NBA insider Marc Stein said recently, per Nets Daily.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has a similar outlook. Here’s what he wrote in a recent piece for ESPN:

If they lose Ball and miss on Lowry, the Pelicans might be on the lookout for Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie is looking for big money; in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, he tossed out a five-year, $125 million contract as what he would be looking for to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets.

That’s one way to negotiate. Like Ball, seeing whether Dinwiddie’s market rises to his $25 million annual goal may take time. But what is known is there’s a connection in New Orleans with general manager Trajan Langdon, who was with Dinwiddie in Brooklyn. His ability to play on and off the ball could be a nice fit next to Williamson, who is expected to play a lot of point forward.

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Dinwiddie Has Expressed His Interest in Sticking With Nets

Dinwiddie is going to sign with the team that offers him what he believes to be the best deal.

If that winds up being the Nets, he’ll be happy. Dinwiddie made that much clear in May.

“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,” he told ForbesShlomo Sprung in May. “And we’ll just see what comes of it through negotiations with Sean and Joe. And obviously I hope to stay a Net and I’d like to be there a long time.”

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