Spencer Dinwiddie: I liked yesterday’s news cycle bet…


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Irving implied as much himself, when he bluntly stated the franchise will have to add more in the summer if it hopes to contend. The Nets have more trade assets than most teams, including Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen, but LeVert might be the most prized chip of them all. “He’s got three years guaranteed at $17 million; that’s a high-value contract for him, locking into that contract when you’ve had that many injuries at Michigan,” said ESPN cap guru Bobby Marks, who is a former Nets assistant GM. “Yeah, that’s a good number as far as if you’re looking at a team. That’s not a dead-weight contract.” Now Nets GM Sean Marks must decide if it’s too high-value to trade, if the young wing’s torrid form before the season got shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic is sustainable.
After inking a three-year extension on Dec. 14, 2018 — one that lets him opt out after next season and hit free agency at 28 — Dinwiddie will be in demand on the trade market again this offseason. And he clearly has found his footing and learned how to use his platform.
If Marks goes the trade route, ESPN NBA analyst Bobby Marks, who once served as assistant GM of the Nets, believes the biggest trade chips are Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, who split time with Irving in the backcourt for the few games all were healthy. “I think Dinwiddie provides the ultimate insurance policy for Kyrie,” Bobby Marks said in a recent interview with Newsday. “Do you trust Kyrie to stay healthy? I don’t know the answer to that question. On the other hand, Dinwiddie will be technically on an expiring contract (with a player option at the end of 2020-21). He’ll likely opt out. He can be extended starting in December, and are you comfortable having your two point guards making north of $50 million per year?
If Marks goes the trade route, ESPN NBA analyst Bobby Marks, who once served as assistant GM of the Nets, believes the biggest trade chips are Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, who split time with Irving in the backcourt for the few games all were healthy. “I think Dinwiddie provides the ultimate insurance policy for Kyrie,” Bobby Marks said in a recent interview with Newsday. “Do you trust Kyrie to stay healthy? I don’t know the answer to that question. On the other hand, Dinwiddie will be technically on an expiring contract (with a player option at the end of 2020-21). He’ll likely opt out. He can be extended starting in December, and are you comfortable having your two point guards making north of $50 million per year?
Could a package including Dinwiddie have landed a player like Aaron Gordon from Orlando? Is Gordon the kind of player that can help push Brooklyn into the East's upper echelon? Some execs believe a player like Gordon can help Brooklyn but wouldn't push them into the echelon of NBA title contender.
Several people mentioned the Nets could be active in trades. Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen are all names that rival executives believe to be available in some form. They could be attractive pieces for the Nets to package together to land a third star that sends them to the top of the conference. Some also wonder whether Brooklyn will spend big to keep unrestricted free agent Joe Harris this summer.
League sources told The Post the Nets aren’t going to make any major changes by the trade deadline. And everything that’s gone on backs that up, with the Nets getting hits on core pieces Jarrett Allen and Spencer Dinwiddie, and turning them down. By the time the deadline passes at 3 p.m. Thursday, any changes the Nets make will likely be around the edges of the roster, or not at all.
“For me, man, the business is the business,” Dinwiddie said. “For all the stuff we talk about player empowerment, we get mad at players for making decision that [they] feel is best for them or best for their families or whatever. That literally is the business. “These teams are going to do what they do. I very well may not be here tomorrow and that’s part of it. And will appreciate every second that I was in Brooklyn and I’ll understand that they’re going to do what they feel is best for the team moving forward trying to win a championship. You can’t take it a certain way, you’ve got to roll with it.”
The Nets are almost certainly not dealing LeVert, Dinwiddie, or Jarrett Allen for a package centered on picks, sources say. That wouldn't make sense with Irving and Durant on board. Irving's knee injury is also a last-minute monkey wrench. LeVert suitors would be subject to what is effectively a poison pill because of his contract extension that kicks in next season. Ditto for Taurean Prince.
Similarly, Dinwiddie has been awesome this season in Brooklyn, but with Kyrie Irving back and Kevin Durant returning next season, Dinwiddie’s opportunities in Brooklyn, logically, will shrink. He’d come at a steep price, but rival executives are at least thinking about it.
Interesting conversation I had with a league exec – with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, should aspiring teams trade assets for Spencer Dinwiddie to be their lead guard? Is he capable of being one of the two or three best players on a good team? Based on early returns during Irving’s absence, the answer is yes. Pushed to the second round of the 2014 draft after tearing his ACL in his final season at Colorado, Dinwiddie keeps adding to his game every year. Now in his sixth season, he’s run the Nets’ offense so well in Irving’s absence that Brooklyn hasn’t missed a beat — the Nets are 10-5 in his 15 games as a starter.
Dinwiddie also has been linked with the point guard-needy Suns. Phoenix now reportedly is looking at a three-way deal that would send Trevor Ariza to the Lakers and ship Los Angeles’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a third team in order to get them their guard.
Dinwiddie, who became a father to his son Elijah shortly after last season, was also the subject of trade rumors with the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and others while a member of the Nets. “Being in trade rumors all summer, I guess it’s two pieces,” Dinwiddie said. “I want to be here. I love being here, so I’m happy that they didn’t (trade him). On the flip side, the fact that the spectrum of teams that were calling means that, obviously, I played well. Because I’ve been on the other side of that situation, where obviously nobody really cared what I was doing. It’s cool in that respect. I guess mildly stressful, but at the same time I can’t control it, so it doesn’t really matter. If Sean (Marks) tells me that I’ve got to go to Phoenix tomorrow, then I’ve got to pack my bags and go to Phoenix. This is nothing I control.”
Years of health issues and bad roster fits behind him, Dinwiddie was a finalist for the N.B.A.’s Most Improved Player Award. He is the kind of young star you would expect to be settling into security, but after a summer as the subject of several trade rumors — only to have the Nets trade Jeremy Lin instead — he is not ready to assume he has found a permanent home. “Is my place on the team secure?” he said, arching his eyebrows and breaking into a large smile. “I don’t know.”
The Phoenix Suns are still actively seeking out a point guard on the trade market, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro reports. Among targets, the Suns have discussed the Los Angeles Clippers’ Patrick Beverley, Indiana’s Cory Joseph and the Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie.
Nets Daily: Reports out of Arizona suggest Suns are having internal discussions about trading for a point guard with @Spencer Dinwiddie one of three possibilities. Seems like a long way between this and trade talks. Hard to imagine anything real before December. Personally I’d hate to lose him.
Does it suck a bit that you’re not a free agent this offseason after a 👌 year? You’d probably be looking at long-term security for the first time. Spencer Dinwiddie: Nah, it is what it is. I’m not worried about it. I didn’t get into this for money. I want to win and build a legacy. I have like 8-10 years left to do this at an extremely high level. I want eight championships and eight Finals MVPs. Thanks for that headline. Spencer Dinwiddie: Haha, no problem. Money will come as it’s supposed to. It is nice to know I’ll have a job next year though, LOL.
Zach Lowe: One little wrinkle about who the Cavs chased with their first round pick. The Cavs had talks with the Nets about Spencer Dinwiddie. Like ... would the Nets take our pick for Dinwiddie. The Nets wanted a LOT for Dinwiddie. I love the thinking though. A) Dinwiddie has been pretty good, fills a need and B) take him off the Nets and what does that do for the Nets’ pick that we own. Thats a fun one. A fun one. Brian Windhorst: In terms of Nets business, what about Jeremy Lin picking up his contract for next year ... yesterday. ZL: Hey, why waste time? BW: We all knew he was picking it up. It’s funny, he’s ‘FYI, I’m picking it up.’
Spencer Dinwiddie knows Brooklyn is where he wants to be now and in the future. But he isn’t a fool. He knows it’s that time of the year for business decisions to be made. “The great part about this organization is that Sean Marks and Kenny [Atkinson] are always going to be diligent in the process, trying to improve the team not only by thinking about now, but thinking long-term,” Dinwiddie told NetsDaily. “And you have to respect that whichever way that happens. Obviously I was a beneficiary of that last year. If I’m moved, I’m moved. That’s just the way it goes.”
“With the way everything has gone, Brooklyn is home,” said Dinwiddie. “But I also understand the business of basketball and the way the NBA works. Anything can happen at any time, so you just have to be prepared and act professional as possible.”
One scout suggested now might be the best time for the Nets to deal Spencer Dinwiddie, who has become a fan favorite and an absolute revelation. “I think the Nets will trade Dinwiddie at some point. They’ve got [Jeremy] Lin coming back. They feel D’Angelo Russell is part of their future. Dinwiddie’s value is probably the highest because he’s got another year at a low number ($1.656 million, partially guaranteed). And he’s playing real well,” the scout said. “If those guys come back healthy, he won’t play as much and then he’s an unrestricted free agent the following year and his value will be a lot lower.”
At the end of their podcast on the upcoming trade season, Zach Lowe asked Adrian Wojnarowski about teams he’ll be interested in watching at Thursday’s deadline approaches. Without suggesting any trade machine fodder, Woj reiterated what most pundits have been saying, the Nets could do some profit-taking on their development of “second chance guys.” He identified Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie who have the most value, along with DeMarre Carroll, but he also said he thought the ceiling for Harris was “maybe a second (rounder)” and that the Nets would have to consider moving Dinwiddie if another offers a first rounder.
Adrian Wojnarowski: “Brooklyn will be interesting. They’ve done a great job of developing some of these second chance guys in the league --Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris. (...) DeMarre Carroll has value because there are so few guys at his position available around the league. DeMarre Carroll has value. So, I think Brooklyn wanted to show progress this year, wanted to win more games and they don’t have their pick, so there’s no real motivation for them to tank. They wanted to show progress and they’ve certainly done that but they've done a good job. “Maybe Joe Harris gets them a second. Spencer Dinwiddie has just been tremendous. They have him next year on a team option at a really low number. So you’re not giving up Spencer Dinwiddie without getting a LOT back. whoever they would draft --lets say they got a pick -- would he be better than Spencer Dinwiddie? Probably not and so I think Brooklyn has put themselves in a position where they can keep gathering up some assets.”
As trade winds began to blow, Spencer Dinwiddie made it clear Thursday that he wants to stay with the Nets over a long time. “I would love to be here long-term. I’m fully indebted to Brooklyn,” Dinwiddie told WFAN host (and noted Nets fan) Evan Roberts.
Spencer Dinwiddie, who spoke to Roberts about a number of issues, including the Nets inability to get calls late, said he noticed the Nets commitment as soon as he arrived 13 months ago. “Honestly, my very first impression of Brooklyn was the culture of development. I thought they were very invested in the guys they chose to be a part of that.”
Storyline: Spencer Dinwiddie Trade?
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Fox is the team’s best chance to accomplish that goal, although McNair has to make a major commitment to the former Kentucky Wildcat this season. League sources have confirmed to NBC Sports California that the Kings, under previous management, already had a discussion with Fox’s representation on an extension. Depending on where the NBA’s final salary cap numbers come in, Fox is eligible for a five-year max money contract worth between $150-180 million. Don’t expect a discounted rate. He will ask for and likely get whatever the maximum is allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.
Ntilikina and Smith both are in the final years of their rookie contracts and haven’t lit the league on fire yet. They have vastly different styles. Ntilikina is a playmaker and defender, while Smith is a scorer and penetrator. Smith has even changed his jersey number to No. 4 — which he wore at North Carolina State. “We’re three days in, so I’m getting to know both guys,’’ Thibodeau said after the third day of voluntary group practices that is part of the NBA’s in-market OTAs for the “Delete 8.’’
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“I like what they’ve done so far. They got to continue to work. There’s often times ups and downs for young players. There’s a learning curve they have to go through. Some experiences will be better than others. “They both have had some good moments in the league. You want to build a consistency. And how do you get there? You have to do it through your work. You have to learn from the experiences. And you have to be disciplined. And so, hopefully we can get there this is a very important offseason for both players.”
As it happened, Butler’s hard-nosed approach wasn’t accepted by Minnesota’s ownership, management or their young players. Butler asked to be traded and Thibodeau was soon out of a job. “Butler didn’t like some of the guys’ lack of professionalism,” one NBA source told The Post. “[Jimmy] and Tom had long talks about how to deal with it. When Butler realized it was unsolvable, he lashed out at the organization. His clock was ticking on his prime and didn’t want to waste it and forced his way out. Tommy was telling him to have patience, see it through.”
Boston overcame a 12-point first-half deficit, its largest comeback when facing elimination in 25 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info. “Boston played great in that second half,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They deserved and earned what they got. We understand how tough it is to win in the playoffs. We did not compete hard enough defensively, and we paid the price for that. But you do have to credit Boston. They played with great force, particularly off the dribble.”
During a huddle in the second half, coach Brad Stevens told his players that, for the first time in several games, they were playing Celtics basketball. Though this was probably obvious to anyone who has watched this conference finals series, it was a powerful statement that spoke to both how much of a departure the Celtics’ recent efforts have been from their ideal selves, and to Boston’s potential to be a two-way monster when the players are confident and aggressive. “He was absolutely right, we didn’t play the way we wanted the whole series,” Theis said. “We didn’t play our defense, we did adjustments and we just went back to our system the way we played all year. Everybody felt comfortable in our system. You could tell in the third quarter everybody was just enjoying being out there.”
With a berth in the NBA Finals on the line, Adebayo wanted all the blame for Miami’s ugly second half and the 121-108 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. “I played like s— — bottom line — (and) I can’t,” said Adebayo, who finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, but along with his Heat teammates couldn’t slow the Celtics during a 41-point, third-quarter outburst and couldn’t stop Boston from trimming the Heat’s series lead to 3-2. “I’ll put that game on me,” he continued. “It’s not my teammates’ fault. It’s not my coaches’ fault. It’s me. I missed too many shots I should have made. … I wasn’t being the defensive anchor I should’ve been. I don’t think I was communicating fast enough. I feel like I was a step behind today. I wasn’t a difference-maker today. I didn’t get us into fast enough triggers. That’s on me.”
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