The Brooklyn Nets’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks will sting a little bit more after the news that they received about their star Spencer Dinwiddie this week. After partially tearing his ACL against the Charlotte Hornets in just the third game of the season, the California native was expected to miss the rest of the NBA season including the playoffs. In a surprising turn of events Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Dinwiddie has officially been cleared for all basketball activities.
“Nets free agent Spencer Dinwiddie has been fully cleared for all basketball activities, his operating surgeon Dr. Riley Williams says,” Shams tweeted on Tuesday, June 24. “Dinwiddie recovered from a partial ACL tear in just over five months. He enters free agency as one of the top point guards on the market.”
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Spencer Dinwiddie Could Leave Nets for Lakers or Clippers
June 20th was the deadline for Dinwiddie to pick up his $12.3 million player option for 2021. The Nets guard decided to not pick up the option and is set to become a free agent when the period officially opens on August 6.
Dinwiddie was a pivotal part of this resurgence of Nets basketball. He was viewed as one of the leading candidates for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award after having a breakout 2019 season when he averaged career highs in points (20.6), rebounds (3.5), and assists (4.6). Dinwiddie has come a long way from being the 38th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft and despite the injury, he is still a star. According to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News he wants to be paid like the star that he is, or the California native will return home in free agency.
“Dinwiddie, however, is unlikely to return to the Nets after taking a below-market-value three-year deal worth $34 million. A source told The Daily News the combo guard wants to go home, or wants the bag,” Winfield writes. “Home is the preferred destination,” the source told The Daily News. ‘But he wants to secure his financial future, too.’”
Getting back home won’t be as easy as it sounds for the Los Angeles native. With both the Lakers and Clippers loaded with max contracts just like the Nets, the only way for Dinwiddie to land in Los Angeles is via a sign and trade.
” If Dinwiddie were to join the Lakers or Clippers, it would have to be in a sign-and-trade,” Winfield writes. “Even if Kawhi Leonard were to decline the player option on his contract and leave the Clippers in free agency, the team still would not have the cap space to sign Dinwiddie to a competitive contract.
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Sean Marks Talks About Dinwiddie’s Future With Nets
With three all-world players in Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving the star power on this Nets roster is obvious. However, after a disappointing exit in the second round of this playoffs, its is clear that a top-heavy roster may not be what helps deliver the Nets a championship. Nets general manager Sean Marks realizes this. During his exit interview, he made it clear that changes to the Nets roster this offseason are imminent. Could Dinwiddie be a part of those changes? Marks says that Brooklyn’s front office will cross that bridge when they get there.
“We’ll deal with Spencer when the time comes, “Marks said per the New York Daily News. “And obviously Spencer has put himself in a position to secure his future long-term. We would obviously love to play a role in that, whether that’s here or whether we can help him. But you know, we’ll focus on that at a later date.”
With the Nets’ season ending prematurely, their offseason is already in full swing. With championship aspirations running even higher than before, the pressure will be on this Nets front office to put the right pieces around their stars during this free agency period.