In his June 12 article for Bleacher Report, Dan Favale pitched the point guard as a potential offseason cure for the postseason ailments of the Clippers, who fell short in their bid for an NBA Championship yet again this season.
Dinwiddie suffered a partially torn ACL just three games into the season this year on the heels of a career year. He scored 20.6 points, while also dishing out 6.8 assists a game in 64 games (49 starts) during the 2019-2020 season, and he was cleared for a full return to basketball in late June.
While noting Dinwiddie is a risk for any team that acquires him, Favale thinks it could pay dividends for L.A. to try and nab the 28-year-old point guard in a sign-and-trade later this summer.
Dinwiddie Would Bring Major Offensive Firepower to Clippers
If he’s healthy and fully recovered from his knee injury, Dinwiddie would certainly be a formidable add for Ty Lue and company.
“What he lacks in plug-and-play shooting, he makes up for with from-scratch offense,” Favale wrote about Dinwiddie. “He has the vision to spearhead half-court attacks and puts constant pressure on defenses with his ability to maneuver inside the paint. About 38 percent of his looks came at the rim in 2019-20, which placed him inside the 74th percentile at his position. And though he’s not the most bankable finisher, he will generate gimme points with trips to the foul line.”
Points are one thing. Availability is another — and Dinwiddie should be available after recently declining the player option on the final year of his contract. Free agency begins August 6.
Clips Would Have to Make Huge Trade for Dinwiddie
The Clippers would have to send multiple players and/or draft picks Brooklyn’s way, (Serge Ibaka, Ivica Zubac or Luke Kennard could be potential trade chips) but Favale thinks Dinwiddie would be worth it:
Admirers needn’t worry about Dinwiddie suffering a stark drop-off in the aftermath of his injury, either. His rim pressure is more predicated on methodical, varying cadence than pure explosion. He remains an ideal addition for contenders lusting after secondary creators to start, close games and headline bench-heavy units. He also poses a unique opportunity for prospective suitors. His skill set is superfluous on a Brooklyn squad that employs Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. The Nets should be more than willing to facilitate sign-and-trades, a mutually beneficial scenario that can ensure he gets paid, that they capitalize on his inevitable exit, and that the door for his services is open to contenders without cap space.
Favale listed the Clippers as one of three teams (the Lakers and Mavericks were the others) Dinwidde would be an ideal fit with, and if he’s healthy, it’s hard to argue against the value he would bring. The primary question, then, is whether the Clippers can afford his services.
Dinwiddie Has Hinted He’d Like to Play in L.A.
According to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News, a source said that for Dinwiddie, “Home is the preferred destination.” A Los Angeles, California native, this suggests that Dinwiddie might not mind playing for either the Clippers or the Lakers.
The Daily News also notes that the only way the Clips could secure the services of Dinwiddie would be in a sign-and-trade scenario — which is fiscally beyond them right now.
“Home for Dinwiddie is Los Angeles, where he spent the entire season rehabbing from his ACL tear at Phenom Sports Performance,” Winfield wrote on June 23, adding: “If Dinwiddie were to join the Lakers or Clippers, it would have to be in a sign-and-trade. 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.”
Clearly, a lot would need to happen in order to get Dinwiddie into a Clippers uniform by next season — and Kawhi will likely be sticking around, so it would take more than a little financial finagling on the Clips’ part to even afford the point guard. Thus, Dinwiddie forming a three-headed monster with Leonard and Paul George is an intriguing thought, but not a very realistic scenario.