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Spencer Dinwiddie: ‘High likelihood I go back to Nets’ if offer is $125 million over five

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

In interview with Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated, Spencer Dinwiddie laid out what it would take for him to resign with Brooklyn. Dinwiddie told Beck that if the Nets offer him $125 million over five years, there would be a “high likelihood that I go back to the Nets.”

Dinwiddie, who opted out of his $12.3 million player option last month, spoke to Beck about a broad-range of issues in an interview that will post Friday. Beck released the section on his possible future with the Nets over Twitter on Thursday.

In the clip promoted by Beck, Dinwiddie essentially says the ball is in the Nets court mainly because they hold his Bird Rights and can sign him to a contract that would run for five years instead of four and with higher year-to-year raises than other teams can offer.

“For all the fans that think like because I opted out like I have to leave or something like that. No, this is very much in the Nets hands. You feel me? And I think my full max is five years/$196 million or something like that. And nobody is sitting here saying I’m going to get five years/$196 million so before anybody tries to kill me, nobody is saying that.

“But the Nets have the ability to do something other people can’t. If the Nets come to the table like that and they’re being aggressive and saying, ‘Hey, we got five years/$125 million for you,’ like I would say, there’s a high likelihood that I go back to the Nets.

But if they don’t come to the table like that, and they’re like ‘Oh, we’re going to give you a three for 60,’ well, anybody can do that.”

In the full podcast, Dinwiddie seems to suggest his preference is to stay with Brooklyn and argues that Joe Tsai is one of two owners — the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer being the other — with enough liquid assets to pay high luxury taxes.

That said, how likely is it that the Nets would pay Dinwiddie $125 million over five? Not very. Pundits and insiders alike think that the ceiling for Dinwiddie is around four years and between $80 and $85 million, about the same as what two other scoring point guards, Malcolm Brogdon and Fred Vanvleet, got from the Pacers and Raptors. In the full podcast, Dinwiddie himself thinks multiple teams will offer him three years and $60 million.

While Dinwiddie had a near All-Star like season in 2019-20 with averages of 21 points and seven rebounds, he suffered a partial ACL tear in the third game of this season. It was his second ACL tear — in different knees — over the past seven years. Teams may not be willing to commit to as big of a deal as Brogdon and VanVleet received with that kind of medical record. On the other hand, this summer’s free agent class is generally limited and he will likely benefit from that ... and from the lack of PG’s in the class.

In fact, Kristian Winfield reports Friday that the Mavericks are interested in the 28-year-old.

The Daily News learned the Mavericks made their interest in Dinwiddie known and are a candidate to sign him in free agency. Multiple reports also suggest the Miami Heat are interested in signing Dinwiddie to join Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. There will be no shortage of suitors for Dinwiddie’s services.

Dallas is projected to have $34 million in cap space this summer meaning the Mavs could sign him without engaging in sign-and-trade talks with the Nets. The Heat would need a sign-and-trade.

As Alex Schiffer of The Athletic wrote Thursday, the Nets have three options with Dinwiddie,

1. Re-sign Dinwiddie with his full Bird rights

2. Let him walk for nothing in return, or

3. Sign-and-trade him to another team

And as Schiffer notes, none are no-brainers. Schiffer wrote his story before Dinwiddie gave his ballpark number, but noted that the Nets, who already have James Harden and Kyrie Irving, might not be interested in paying Dinwiddie the big bucks.

Re-signing Dinwiddie would allow for more rest of Harden or Irving and give the Nets an insurance policy if something happened either, a situation that presented itself this postseason.

But at that cost? All indications have been that Dinwiddie plans to play elsewhere next season. Backup point guards are replaceable, and the Nets don’t need another expensive floor general ...

As Winfield reports Friday, the luxury tax payments would reach an NBA record if the Nets signed Dinwiddie to a starting salary of $20 million.

[The Nets] would be $37.6 million over the tax line. That would incur an additional $122.4 million in luxury taxes — and that’s before re-signing Jeff Green, Blake Griffin or Bruce Brown.

The Nets have two back up point guards on the roster — Mike James and Tyler Johnson — but both are free agents, James restricted, Johnson unrestricted.

The Nets are unlikely to respond to Dinwiddie’s comments (and probably underwhelmed by his decision to negotiate in public.)

How soon might we see a resolution? It wouldn’t be surprising if things get done by the NBA Draft on July 29, particularly if the Nets want future draft picks in a sign-and-trade.