The Brooklyn Nets’ top priority is re-signing forward Cameron Johnson whom they made a restricted free agent by extending a qualifying offer. But they also need to clear more space under to cap to avoid the luxury tax and, while they have many paths to get there, trading guard Spencer Dinwiddie will not be one of them.
“Sources told The Post that they’re unlikely to trade Spencer Dinwiddie to shed salary,” wrote Brian Lewis of the New York Post on June 29. “But they could move Royce O’Neale or Dorian Finney-Smith, both of whom have garnered first-round pick offers.”
The Nets are $18.6 below the luxury tax line before making any moves this offseason, per Spotrac.
One potentially significant knock against him could be that he shot just 28.9% from beyond the arc in that span. Still, he ranked second in the NBA in assists from March 10 through the end of the regular season and spoke about having to adjust to not having a score-first mindset all the time during that run.
“Being kind of the older guy you want to read the game,” he said via the Nets’ YouTube channel on March 29. “And if they’re hitting shots, it’s my job to pass the ball. And, if they’re not, I got to be a little more aggressive. Because at the end of the day, the name of the game is to win.”
He is extension eligible this offseason but not everyone thinks that would be a good idea.
Ex-Nets Exec Warns Against Contract Extension for Spencer Dinwiddie
“I would not do an extension with Spencer Dinwiddie unless I’m getting him at a $13-to-$15 million number here,” said ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks on April 22. “He’s extension-eligible for four [years] for $128 [million] starting August 7th…Nice player. Sixth-man on a good team. Not your go-to point guard. Probably ranked 20th to 25th in the NBA here.”
Head coach Jacque Vaughn also made it a point to note they need more players who can get downhill and put pressure on the rim; not exactly a ringing endorsement of Dinwiddie’s long-term prospects.
And the numbers on the floor work against him too.
“Outscored by 21 points in clutch time when Dinwiddie was on the court,” explained Marks. “Among 100 players that took 100 three-point attempts from February 9th to the end of the season, he ranked 96th in three-point field goal percentage at 28.9[%].” That’s Spencer Dinwiddie.
“You put him with Luka [Doncic] and you put them with Jalen Brunson, things look a lot differently. When you put them as the feature, not for four [years] for $128 [million]. So he’ll go into the last year of his contract.”
Working in Dinwiddie’s favor, he is by far the best ballhandler and playmaker on the roster as currently constructed.
Nets Have Long Been Expected to Move Veteran Wings
Lewis’ note on the Nets’ interest in moving one or both of O’Neale or Finney-Smith is consistent with previous reporting, though they are also said to be maintaining a high asking price to acquire either in a trade.
That is still their easiest path to creating cap space and continuing to stockpile assets.
They still don’t have control of their draft picks so they have to be careful not to strip too much away from the on-court product without putting anything back.