Tracking Spencer Dinwiddie’s rehab using social media is not a difficult thing. He’s constantly posting updates on it mostly via Instagram but also using Twitter. Trying to decipher whether there’s a chance, any chance, that the 6’6” point guard will return this season, is another issue. The NBA doesn’t think he will ... they granted the Nets a disabled player exception, believing it was unlikely he’d return.
But Dinwiddie NEVER let it be said that he was done because of a partial ACL tear suffered in the third game of the season. No. He headed out west to Phenom Sports Performance in southern California to undergo an intense rehab. His most definitive comments about a possible return came back in December just after he was hurt, then again just a couple of weeks ago. In between, there were hints, suggestions, all of them enticing. Let’s look at what he posted ... and the little the Nets have said.
Shortly after his injury, he posted a comparison of his near catastrophic injury during his junior year at Colorado with what he was facing now. The Nets may have declared him out for the season, but he wouldn’t give up hope.
He then posted those almost daily updates of his rehab. Scenes like this, both in New York and L.A.
Note the disparagement of the DPE. He hinted that he was ahead of schedule in more than one post.
Then, a little less than two weeks ago, there was this Dinwiddie reply to our tweet....
That sounded definitive!
Since then, things have been a little more intriguing. His last two rehab updates, filed last week showed Dinwiddie working out in Nets gear, rather than bare-chested as he had for weeks.
By no means definitive. Maybe it was cold in the gym that day? But at the same time, there was this. After the trade deadline, Marc Stein of the Times reported that the Nets had offered Dinwiddie to the Warriors for Kelly Oubre. Not so, said Dinwiddie, in a video found by our Billy Reinhardt.
Spencer Dinwiddie refutes Marc Stein’s report that the Nets offered him to Golden State for Kelly Oubre and the Warriors declined.— Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) April 2, 2021
Dinwiddie says, “They actually lied about that sh*t because the Warriors offered Kelly Oubre for me & the Nets declined.”pic.twitter.com/ak2RkGXxKd
Oh. That sounds like Spencer Dinwiddie wants to stay a Net, doesn’t it? (Also, it looked like Din had left L.A. and traveled to South Florida.
Then, three days ago, Dinwiddie spoke again about his rehab in a positive sense in answering another question from a fan...
That a partial ACL tear is WAYYYYY easier than when you tear both meniscus/MCL/ACL.— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) April 4, 2021
Plus the NBA level care and attention to detail is different. Both from BKN and the independent trainers
The Nets have said very little about the possibility. The only real discussion was back on March 18 when Steve Nash was asked about the prospects of a Dinwiddie return. He was basically non-responsive.
“I haven’t messaged with him for a few weeks now. He’s in LA,” said Steve Nash of Dinwiddie at the time, “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.”
What are left with other than intrigue? Not much. We don’t even know if he’s back in Brooklyn. That could be another indicator, but with 20 games left, we’re nearing the break point in terms of how much time he’d need to get in basketball shape and reintegrated into a team that has dramatically changed since he went down. Still, if a healthy Dinwiddie, who averaged 21 and 7 last season, can rejoin the Nets, it would be a huge boost to the team (particularly with their injury issues in the backcourt.)
Finally, there’s the issue of his player option and future with the Nets. He will likely not exercise his player option and become a free agent. It would seem beneficial for him to get some games under his belt to prove what he can do, whether it’s to the Nets or other teams. And if the Nets want to work a sign-and-trade, a proven Dinwiddie would be positive as well.
We don’t know his medical situation. We’re not physicians. We only know his optimism and enthusiasm. And that’s encouraging.