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Spencer Dinwiddie liking the new guys, pushing the limits

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

NO Net had a more eventful off-season than Spencer Dinwiddie. No, he wasn’t traded nor did he sign a new contract ... although his old one is now fully guaranteed.

He became a father for the first time, welcoming a son, Elijah, into the world shortly after the season —easily his best— ended. Now, after spending time in L.A. with his son and fiancee’ Arielle Roberson, Dinwiddie is back in Brooklyn to get ready for the season. Tom Dowd of the Nets official site sat down with him to talk about fatherhood, his trip to China with Jeremy Lin and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the new guys and prospects for improving his “scoring efficiency.”

“It’s all ramping up and we’re getting to a place where the season is coming up,” said Dinwiddie said of the scene at HSS Training Center. “It’s about to be around the corner. We’re putting in some of those final touches, some of that final preparation to get ready.”

Training camp is now five weeks away and other than two training camp invites, the roster appears set ... and is on hand in Brooklyn.

Other than the birth of his son and his contract extension, which he called a “blessing,” Dinwiddie’s summer included a number of high profile events, highlighted by his participating in Lin’s “Hoops for Hope” in Shenzhen, China.

“I was just kind of doing my own thing. But most of the trip was thanks to Jeremy. I really appreciated the opportunity to be able to go over there. Obviously, he’s not on our team any more, but I consider him a friend. He definitely helped me out a lot. It was fun to be able to do the camp with him at one of his basketball schools, and to play in the game as well to help such a great cause.”

He spent time as well in Las Vegas getting to know Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs who couldn’t play because of buyout issues (since resolved) and spending time with teammates.

“They seem like they’re great basketball minds,” said Dinwiddie of the rookies. “Very confident guys. I haven’t really seen them play, so I couldn’t really evaluate them. But I know our coaching staff and organization are extremely high on them. I think they’re going to be welcome additions to the squad.”

Dinwiddie also told Dowd that he knows some of the new guys who came to the Nets via free agency or trade. He and Treveon Graham played together for Team USA at the 2013 World University Games, then against each other in the G-League.

He also knows Shabazz Napier, adding that Napier being smaller than the rest of the guard corps will bring “an added dynamic.”

As for his own game, Dinwiddie talked about improving his own “scoring efficiency.” His shooting tailed off as the season went on, dropping precipitously after D’Angelo Russell returned to the line-up. While most of his teammates increased their shooting percentages after the All-Star Break (where he did win the skills challenge) his dropped off, hitting less than 30 percent from deep the last two months of the season.

“Scoring efficiency is the main area of improvement,” said Dinwiddie. “Overall development. I’m 25 years old, still got a lot of juice in the tank. I want to continue to push the limits of who I can be as a player and see how far we as a group, a collective, can take this thing. A lot of that comes from every individual being one percent better. Trying to do a lot of that.”

Although he didn’t talk about it, Dinwiddie and the Nets have a big decision coming up starting December 8. He’s eligible then for a contract extension that could pay him around $44 million over four years. Or the two sides could wait until next summer when he’d be a free agent. A lot will depend on how he and the Nets are doing at that point.