BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Spencer Dinwiddie knows Brooklyn is where he wants to be now and in the future. But he isn’t a fool. He knows it’s that time of the year for business decisions to be made.
“The great part about this organization is that Sean Marks and Kenny [Atkinson] are always going to be diligent in the process, trying to improve the team not only by thinking about now, but thinking long-term,” Dinwiddie told NetsDaily. “And you have to respect that whichever way that happens. Obviously I was a beneficiary of that last year. If I’m moved, I’m moved. That’s just the way it goes.”
Dinwiddie is averaging career-highs in points and assists while ranking top-3 in assist to turnover ratio. At 24, the Nets value him for everything he is.
His work ethic in the gym is the type of guy Kenny Atkinson appreciates. He possesses certain things that cannot be taught. His length is perfect for Atkinson’s system and his intelligence - on and off the court - is something that sets him apart from other players. His ability to learn and adjust in a short amount of time is hard to overlook.
While he remains fully indebted to Brooklyn, he understands that anything can happen.
“With the way everything has gone, Brooklyn is home,” said Dinwiddie. “But I also understand the business of basketball and the way the NBA works. Anything can happen at any time, so you just have to be prepared and act professional as possible.”
Given his contract situation, it will be a challenge for Marks to get assets he would like.
Rival executives see Dinwiddie as a piece they can pursue in free agency next year rather than giving up assets for him right now.
Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm wrote Wednesday, “Spencer Dinwiddie is not liked by executives as a trade target as much as he is a free agent down the line. Dinwiddie garnered praise, but not as much trade lust as I figured he would.”
Of course, that can change close to the 3 p.m. deadline when all it takes is one team to budge and offer up a piece.
Take a team like Cleveland for example. They need a play-making point guard. One call and everything can change.
And contrary to the report from Moore, sources have told NetsDaily that it would take a pick and/or promising asset to unload him.
Of course, with Dinwiddie seemingly committed to Brooklyn, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if they paid him a fair price when he’s due for a new contract next year, where he’s owed $1.66 million through next season.
This, of course, should sound like the opposite of a salary dump considering how generous the contract really is.
Furthermore, the Nets might have too many point guards that need time. Along with Dinwiddie, D’Angelo Russell has not looked like himself in a limited role off the bench.
Russell, 21, is seen as a long-term option for the Nets, and needs playing time and the ball in his hands in order to make things happen. That hasn’t happened as much with the backup unit (in limited time).
Along with Russell is the 23-year-old Caris LeVert, who thrived as a point guard when Russell went down. He was a big benefactor in Jarrett Allen’s rise, as the two developed a chemistry that helped get Allen over the hump and develop confidence in his game.
Nobody knows what will happen with Jeremy Lin next year, but he’s going to return at some point as well.
Obviously you want more talent and they’ve certainly preached talent acquisition since Marks took over. But a point guard needs rhythm and consistent playing time in order to lead the team. That’s hard to do when there are three capable point guards on the roster.
Dinwiddie has made it clear on several occasions that he wants to be sporting the black and white for a long time, recently telling Evan Roberts, “I would love to be here long-term. I’m fully indebted to Brooklyn.”
He’s one of many young players who have bought into Atkinson’s system and Brooklyn’s culture. It would be hard for Nets fans to grasp the loss of Dinwiddie, and it would likely be another punch to the gut for development and continuity’s sake especially since he’s only 24-years-old and has already proven to be a capable starter.
But he gets it. He always keeps it real and in his own words, “Anything can happen at any time.”