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Spencer Dinwiddie cleared for action ... What’s his value now?

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New Jersey Nets v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

Three days after the Nets season ended, Spencer Dinwiddie was cleared for a return to play.

Shams Charania tweeted the news…

Dr. Williams performed the surgery on January 4. He’s also the Nets medical director.

Dinwiddie, who went down in the Nets third game, had posted near daily updates on his rehab until recently, boasting about the speed and success of his recovery.

There had been reports that Dinwiddie wanted to return before the season ended, perhaps for the Finals if the Nets got that far. They didn’t. Although Dinwiddie has been cleared for basketball activities, it’s doubtful he would’ve been ready for the conference finals which begin Wednesday.’

Nets brass, on the other hand, have been highly skeptical of Dinwiddie’s ability to contribute even in the Finals. One reason they expressed publicly was that if Dinwiddie returned and reinjured his knee, his career would be at risk precisely when he could cash in. Dinwiddie has a $12.3 million player option for 2021-22 that he’s widely expected to decline … if he hasn’t already. Of course, if the 28-year-old got hurt, it would deprive the Nets of their biggest and best trade asset.

Although the timing seems odd and Dinwiddie won’t be playing for the Nets, he’ll still have value if he and the Nets can work out a sign-and-trade with a team willing to pay him. That’s expected to be somewhere between $15 and $20 million a year over four years. That’s the going market rate for a young, healthy point guard. He certainly proved his worth in 2019-2020, averaging 21 points and seven assists before contracting COVID-19.

Sean Marks more than hinted at the S&T possibility Monday in talking with the media.

“We’ll deal with Spencer when the time comes. Obviously, Spencer has put himself in a position to secure his future long-term. We’d love to play a role in that whether that’s here or we can help him, but we’ll focus on that at a later date,” said Marks when asked about Dinwiddie.

The timing and clarity of Dr. Williams assessment certainly helps the Nets build up Dinwiddie’s stock before the Draft which might be an ideal time for a sign-and-trade. The Nets may want to replace the picks they lost to Houston in the James Harden trade. The Draft is July 28, now only five weeks away.

The Nets could also be interested in plugging a hole with a solid role player.