It began with a tweet from Spencer Dinwiddie...
Just left the gym and I see @wojespn just followed me. Should I be worried guys? Lol— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) September 3, 2018
Don’t worry, replied Woj...
That’s not how it works Spencer — Have a great holiday!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 3, 2018
Whew, said Dinwiddie...
But SHOULD the Nets point be concerned? There is speculation. There is always speculation. After all, Dinwiddie is a prize. A 25-year-old point guard with height, athleticism, a record of achievement ... and a veterans minimum contract.
He led all starting NBA points guards (50 or more starts) with a 4.1 assist to turnover rating, led all NBA players in three-point shots from beyond 30 feet (11, at a 42.3 percent clip), won the Skills Challenge at the All Star Break and was the only Net, player coach or executive, to get even a single vote in post-season awards, finishing third for the Most Improved Player.
Not to mention that he essentially saved the season after Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell went down and he stepped in and stepped up.
So now, Hoopshype and others think the Suns, who recently shook up their backcourt, could use a man like Spencer Dinwiddie, speculating about how a trade between Brooklyn and Phoenix might work. Hoopshype’s Frank Urbina even wrote this weekend that “Dinwiddie is a prime candidate to get traded this season.”
And he even offers a scenario for such a deal...
In order to get a deal done, a package centered around Dragan Bender and a draft pick could get things done between these two sides. Bender hasn’t come close to reaching his potential yet, but as a 7-foot-1 floor-spacer at the 4, he would theoretically be an interesting fit next to a young rim-diving center like Jarrett Allen. Acquiring the 20-year-old big man could be a savvy gamble by the Nets.
Bender is five months older than Allen and plays a bit of a different role. He is an accomplished three-point shooter, hitting 118-of-322 attempts from deep (36.6 percent) but only 38.6 percent overall. He is neither a shot blocker nor a refined passer. He is durable, playing in all 82 games last season.
As for picks, the Suns have their own 2019 pick and the Bucks (1-3 and 17-30 protected) plus their own 2020 and 2021 firsts. The Nets already own their second in 2021, part of the deal that brought Jared Dudley to Brooklyn.
The Bright Side of the Sun, the SB Nation Suns blog, also thinks Dinwiddie would be good haul, but thinks the Suns should worry that as an expiring, any deal could be a rental.
Spencer Dinwiddie of the Nets could also be that option. He started 58 games for the Nets last season and put up respectable numbers (12.6 ppg, 6.6 assists, 3.2 rebs). At 6’6” he has above average height and length for a PG and might fit in well with the Suns. He wouldn’t be my first choice but, as he’s on an expiring contract, it wouldn’t be a terribly bad move if a better option doesn’t present itself.
Of course, this is all speculation, as noted. And the Nets do like Dinwiddie a lot. They can, starting December 8, extend him at a rate of four years and $47 million. Or they can wait till the off-season when he would be a free agent, with Bird Rights.
There’s been speculation in the past. At the deadline, the Cavaliers reportedly offered their first round pick to the Nets (which would have gotten them the 25th pick, which the Nets might have used on Dzanan Musa!)
As Zach Lowe said back then, “The Nets wanted a LOT for Dinwiddie.” And why not? As Urbina points out, beyond the obvious stats (12.6 points. 6.6 assists), there are other numbers that speak to his potential. He ranked in the 68th percentile as a spot-up shooter and in the 72nd percentile as a pick-and-roll ball handler.
There’s more than numbers though. Dinwiddie is a big part of the Nets team chemistry and dealing him away could have unforeseen consequences. Players like Dinwiddie, with his combination of skills, competitiveness and maturity, are rare.
Again, it’s speculation, all speculation. Of course, you never know what the next Woj tweet mentioning Dinwiddie will bring.