He prefers staying in Brooklyn to free agency. But even though the deal looks like a bargain for the Nets, it’s certainly no lock they make it. “I’d love to have an extension. I’d love to be here for a long time. If I don’t get an extension, I’ll be looking forward to unrestricted free agency and going through the season trying to help the Nets win games as much as possible,” Dinwiddie said. “Either I’m going to sign an extension or I’m going to be an unrestricted free agent, simple as that. The ball is very much in [general manager] Sean Marks and the Nets’ court. “Everybody knows what my extension number is: Four for $47 ¹/₂ million. … Can’t go above. It’s not like I’m really looking to go below. It is what it is. I’ll find out when you guys find out. We’ll either see something on the ESPN ticker that says ‘Spencer Dinwiddie offered $47 ¹/₂ million from the Brooklyn Nets,’ and then you guys will know how much money my bank account has at that moment in time.”
With guard-needy teams like the Suns and Magic out there, sources told The Post Dinwiddie could command more in free agency. So why wouldn’t the Nets jump to sign him? Dinwiddie currently makes $1.656 million and an extension would put the Nets over the luxury-tax threshold.
On Dec. 8, Dinwiddie is eligible to sign an extension with the Nets. The most lucrative deal Brooklyn can offer is a four-year, $48 million contract, an extension that would have him bypassing unrestricted free agency. “Oh, I mean, I’d love to have one,” Dinwiddie said. “I’d love to be here. This organization has shown me hospitality and given me an opportunity like I haven’t had in the NBA before, so I’m definitely indebted to them, and if they decide to sign me, I’d be one of the happiest players in the league.”
Despite overcoming a career-threatening ACL injury in college, the risk of injury this season isn’t weighing on Dinwiddie’s mind regarding a possible extension and long-term payday. “No, not really,” Dinwiddie said. “If I didn’t want to be here, it would just be a flat out ‘no,’ and I’d tell everybody, ‘Hey, I want to go into unrestricted free agency, and that’s just what it is.’ It really, as it is now, the ball is in their court. I guess I’m always a bridesmaid so far in the NBA. I’m ready to be a bride, I guess.”
Dinwiddie will become eligible for a contract extension Dec. 8, three years after he signed his current deal. But unlike Russell – who could theoretically sign an extension for a max salary – Dinwiddie’s extension is capped at about $47 million over four years. Though it’s possible he could draw more in unrestricted free agency next summer, Dinwiddie – who has only once and only barely exceeded a minimum salary in his career – sounds open to locking in sooner. Not that he expects an offer. “If Sean Marks calls to give me a contract extension, I’ll take it,” Dinwiddie said. “But until he does, I’m looking forward to being a free agent.”
Dinwiddie, on the other hand, said he’s more focused on the court than motivated by his contract situation. “That’s all I can really afford to look at,” Dinwiddie said. “You look at my role – second-round pick, out the league, now back in the league, obviously good season, don’t matter, back on the bench, all that other stuff. So, all I’ve got to do is continue try to help our team win games.”
Complicating matters is the fact that Dinwiddie can’t officially sign that extension until early December, giving the Nets almost two months to assess his fit with Russell and their long-term plans surrounding that pairing. Should Russell show them significant progress toward his ultimate potential, Dinwiddie might find himself closer to the trade block than a building block of the next great Nets team.
The question that looms in the future is how much respect the organization will show next season when he goes from being a bargain at a non-guaranteed $1.65 million to being eligible for an extension that might start at $8 million to $9 million per year. “Man, I would love to be here,” Dinwiddie said. “But I don’t have the opportunity to look ahead. That’s not the way my career has gone. All I can do is keep my head down and keep going. That’s all I can do. But I’d love to be here. They gave me my chance, and I’m forever indebted to Brooklyn.”
After breaking down about Dinwiddie’s performance in the game, Coach Nick asked him about his time with the Nets. Dinwiddie, whose contract runs another two years at the vets minimum, talked about how much he wants to stay in Brooklyn ... and why. “Right now, I have two team options left on my deal, so it looks like I'll be here. Who knows, you never know in this business how anything can happen or how it will all shake out but I've loved my time here and hopefully look forward to being here for a long time. The organization is great. The staff is great and hopefully we can turn this thing around and just make the playoffs next year. That'd be nice.”
With only a team-option for next season, Dinwiddie hopes his work-ethic in practice and play on the court in recent weeks is enough for the Nets to keep him around next season. “I hope I put my best foot forward and proved I belong with the Nets long-term,” Dinwiddie said. “I would love to continue to be here, but business is business. It’s not going to be my decision, it’s going to be their decision. I hope they allow me to stay.”
Michael Gallagher: The Nets announced they have signed Spencer Dinwiddie.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Nets signed D-League guard Spencer Dinwiddie to a partially guaranteed three-year deal, league sources tell @The Vertical.
September 27, 2021 | 4:16 pm EDT Update
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