Nets Starter Takes Shots at Former Team in Aftermath of Blockbuster Trade

Spencer Dinwiddie

Getty Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith share a laugh on the Brooklyn Nets bench.

In July 2021 the Brooklyn Nets made the tough decision to part ways with Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie was sent to the Washington Wizards in a sign and trade on a 3-year / $62 million deal that paired him in the backcourt with All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal. But that experiment failed, and Dinwiddie was traded to the Dallas Mavericks just seven months later before ultimately landing back with the Nets when they traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks in February.

In a recent interview with NBA analyst Taylor Rooks, Dinwiddie says that identity issues were a big reason why the situation with the Wizards never worked out for him.

“Trying to figure out an identity going in several different directions, right? We had Rui [Hachimura] coming back from what he was struggling with. Deni [Avdija] was supposed to be like the second coming of Luka [Doncic]. You got Brad, who’s obviously the Max guy. You got the Lakers guys coming over who want to establish themselves independently of LeBron, people playing for deals and all that stuff,” Dinwiddie said.

“And it was a situation where I was just saying, what are we doing? Remember, I’m coming off an injury, and I just signed a deal, a rather large one, right? So technically speaking, I didn’t even need to play, nor was I going to need to play for a deal, nor did I need money or any of that stuff, right? So, it was like, can we just lay out what the actual plan is?”

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Dinwiddie Was Confused About Role With Wizards

Dinwiddie came into the 2020-21 season looking to build on the best year of his career in 2019, where he averaged a career-high, 20.6 points per game. And after the Nets landed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency, he was set to be the third option. But when Harden came over in the trade things became crowded in Brooklyn’s backcourt.

Dinwiddie came to Washington expecting to be a second option next to All-Star guard Bradley Beal. But when things began to go awry, multiple reports began to circulate about how Dinwiddie was dissatisfied with his role. But the Nets guard vehemently denies those claims.

“Because I thought I was coming into a situation where I was going to play number two to Brad, and Brad was going to do a 30-point thing, and then we were going to try to piece this whole thing together, to try to build towards winning, right? That’s what I was told, and that’s what I planned on doing,” Dinwiddie added.

“But then, when the narrative started to get spun that they were saying I wanted to run the team or whatever else, it was like bro, I didn’t even sign here to do that. My guy who actually got traded with me, Davis Bertans, he’ll second all this stuff if you ever want to interview him. But my whole sticking point was just what are we doing?”

Dinwiddie Dispels Claims About Time With Wizards

Dinwiddie has proven to be a player that you can plug into any situation, and it will yield great results. He helped lead the Nets to the playoffs in 2019 despite Durant and Kyrie missing most of the season. Last year, he was one of the key players on the Mavericks that helped them pull off an upset in last year’s Western Conference Semifinal matchup against the Phoenix Suns.

Dinwiddie says that on every team he has ever been on, he has been willing to do whatever the team needs. All he has ever asked for is clarity.

“If you can give me clarity, I’ll do it. And I think the funny part about it is even when I said that back then and everybody tried to spin it, however, they tried to spin it and say what they said about me the last year and a half have shown that,” Dinwiddie said.

“When I got traded to Dallas first, they were saying, like, hey, sixth man, we want you to kind of be in that gunner sixth man role. Cool. Okay, now that you’re starting to look, we need you to do a little bit more catching and shooting. Fine. Okay? We need you to try to get Christian with the ball a little bit. Cool. Okay? Now you’re back with Brooklyn. We need you to try to bring the team together and also look to pass a little bit more. Cool. Like, if you can give me what I need to do, fine. But if we’re like, we got eight things we’re trying to do. Well, I’m sitting here like, Bro, what are we doing?”