With two words early Sunday, Spencer Dinwiddie once again raised the prospect of a return to play this season or post-season.
Here’s his exchange with NetsDaily in the euphoria over the signing of LaMarcus Aldridge.
It’s the latest confirmation that Dinwiddie want to put the uniform on again this season. Since he was hurt, he’s repeatedly suggested he could return ... even after the NBA provided the Nets a disabled player exception believing he’s done for the year.
Of course the decision won’t be up to him, but the physician who repaired his partially torn ACL in December, Dr. Riley J. Williams III, is also Nets medical director and a key voice in making the determination of whether Dinwiddie will be able to handle the stresses of NBA play on his repaired knee. The Nets performance team and the front office will also play a role with Sean Marks the ultimate decision-maker.
As we’ve noted, Steve Nash has expressed skepticism of bringing Dinwiddie back without a clean bill of health.
“I haven’t messaged with him for a few weeks now. He’s in LA,” said Steve Nash of Dinwiddie ten days ago, “I’m very hesitant to comment on (Dinwiddie’s return) because my number goal is Spencer’s career, his long-term health.
“I don’t wanna dampen any dreams or goals that he has. At the same time, my No. 1 goal for Spencer is more important than our team. It’s for him to get to 100 percent, his health, and to have a long and successful career after this injury. That’s my number one goal, that’s all I’m thinking about whenever he’s ready to come back to basketball, I’ll be happy. But hopefully, it’s in a really safe and well-thought-out timeline.”
Dinwiddie has been working out at Phenom Sports Performance in southern California where he’s from and where his family still lives. He’s been providing almost daily updates on his health via Instagram. Here’s his latest... in which he points out he’s more in “training” than “rehab,” another indication that at least he feels he’s making progress.
Dinwiddie who started in the Nets first three games before going down, would be a big addition if healthy even with James Harden and Kyrie Irving starting in the backcourt. He could provide rest to either or both. People tend to forget he averaged 21 and 7 last season before the pandemic hit and he got sick from COVID-19.
Additional time court late in the season would also help Dinwiddie’s free agent prospects come August. He has a $12.3 million player option he reportedly plans to decline, making him an unrestricted free agent. It could also help the Nets in any sign-and-trade scenarios. Of course, again, this is all dependent on his health.
So, pipe dream or not, Dinwiddie keeps grinding, knowing he came back from a much, much worst knee injury (different knee) while at Colorado.
We have no information on how the Nets performance and medical teams are monitoring his progress and if they are, what they’re reporting to the front office. Stay alert because bringing back Din may be as impactful as any player acquired at the trade or buyout deadlines.