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ESPN: NBA execs ‘rave’ about Nets deal with Spencer Dinwiddie

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

In a story Saturday on ESPN+, Bobby Marks says word among NBA executives is that the Nets did very well in extending Spencer Dinwiddie for three years and $34 million, with the final year a player option. Bobby Marks, like a lot of NBA executives, was at the G League Showcase this weekend in Las Vegas, the last big gathering of front office types before the February 7 trade deadline.

Under “Transaction Buzz,” here’s what Bobby Marks wrote about the contract...

League executives were raving about the $34.4 million extension that the Brooklyn Nets secured with Dinwiddie. Many compared it to the three-year, $24 million contract the Clippers negotiated with Lou Williams last February.

Dinwiddie’s $10.6 million salary in 2019-20 ranks No. 17 among all point guards and No. 100 overall. The first-year number is $1.3 million more than next year’s $9.2 midlevel exception.

Two teams ESPN talked to had Dinwiddie ranked No. 3 on their board for best available point guards, behind only All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker, and ahead of both his teammate D’Angelo Russell and Boston’s Terry Rozier.

The former Nets executive now with ESPN said Dinwiddie “chose financial security over perhaps earning a bigger contract in July.” Of course, as he himself as said, loyalty played a role as well, that the Nets took a chance on him, signing out of the G League after he had been traded by the Pistons, then cut twice by the Bulls.

It was the third time the Nets have saved some money in the last year and a half because of a player’s loyalty. Joe Harris has said he believes he could have gotten more the the $16 million over two years he signed for in Brooklyn ... but he wanted to stay with the organization. And in the summer of 2017, Allen Crabbe agreed to waive a $5 million trade kicker in his contract, a kicker the Nets had inserted in his offer sheet the year before.

The Nets may also have gotten a bargain in signing Rodions Kurucs to a four-year, $7 million deal last July. The deal is fully guaranteed the first three years and includes a team option in year 4. Because Kurucs was a second rounder, the Nets didn’t have to guarantee him anything. And what looked like a good deal for Kurucs in the summer now looks like a steal for the Nets as Kurucs quickly develops. He won’t make more than $1.9 million in any year through 2021-22.

By saving money here and there on their own players, the Nets have set themselves up to splurge if they need to. It’s a lot easier to convince ownership to go along with big bucks deal if you’ve already saved them money on smaller deals.

Bobby Marks also argues that D’Angelo Russell will be a big beneficiary of the move. Why? Because Dinwiddie is now off the market. Still, he notes, the Nets will have the advantage come the summer.

With Dinwiddie off the free-agency board, Rozier and Russell benefit the most. However, as restricted free agency has taught us in recent years, Boston and Brooklyn have all the leverage until an offer sheet is presented. League execs identified the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns as potential suitors for both players.

Russell has said all the right things about wanting to stay in Brooklyn.

Also in the ESPN+ report, a list of buyout candidates which include players like Carmelo Anthony and Austin Rivers, but also Kenneth Faried of the Nets. On Friday, Shams Charania said teams had shown interest in Faried. (Another interesting name on Bobby Marks list: Jabari Parker, who the Bulls are currently marketing.)