Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie suffered a torn ACL in December, costing himself a majority of the 2020-’21 NBA season and hurting the Nets in the playoffs.
Dinwiddie is now on the road to recovery and with Brooklyn’s season over, the 28-year-old guard already seems to have made his first big decision in an offseason that could shake up the NBA next season.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Dinwiddie plans to decline his $12.3 million player option, allowing himself to become a free agent this summer.
Dinwiddie won’t be hitting the open market at the best time. He averaged just 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in three games before suffering the season-ending knee injury. However, the 6-foot-5 guard is respected around the NBA with plenty of confidence he will have a strong market of teams to choose from.
With that in mind, let’s dive into three potential landing spots for Dinwiddie.
Spencer Dinwiddie signs with New York Knicks
Everyone knows the Knicks want to improve their backcourt this summer. Damian Lillard is the dream target, but a blockbuster deal for him is unlikely. Once the front office realizes the All-Star guard is off the table, Dinwiddie could be the next target.
New York is flush with cap space this summer, so funds aren’t an issue. Dinwiddie thrived at point guard for the Nets during the 2019-’20 season, with his size giving him a great edge against smaller opponents and his athleticism really helping him exploit matchups. Across 64 games, he averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per contests.
No one will claim Dinwiddie is a great defender and his work on that end of the floor is even more uncertain returning from a major injury. But Tom Thibodeau turned a bad lineup into one of the best defenses in the NBA, so there’s little reason to believe he couldn’t get more out of Dinwiddie.
Los Angeles Lakers bring Dinwiddie home
The Los Angeles Lakers explored a ton of options this past season. Among them, the front office looked into a Spencer Dinwiddie trade. With Dinwiddie working towards a full recovery, it would only make sense for Los Angeles to make a run at him again.
This is the city that helped shaped Dinwiddie into the player he is today. There’s also real admiration from the fans, appreciative of a player with roots in the area who is making an impact at the highest level. Returning to Los Angeles and potentially contributing to this team holding a championship parade, might really interest Dinwiddie.
Admittedly, the financials would be difficult to execute. The Lakers still need to think about Dennis Schroder, Talen Horton-Tucker, Andre Drummond and Alex Caruso. But there’s a distinct possibility several guards depart in free agency and Dinwiddie would fill into a void nicely.
Spencer Dinwiddie joins Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks need to do something this offseason, once the organizational chaos is sorted out. Luka Doncic needs more help around him if this team wants to go anywhere. After whiffing on the Josh Richardson acquisition last year, Dinwiddie would provide an upgrade at guard.
Dallas reportedly expressed interest in Dinwiddie before the season. Now that he’s an unrestricted free agent, this could be an opportunity for the Mavericks to add a capable scorer. Dinwiddie would get to play alongside a star, making things easier for him on the court, and would be on a playoff contender. Better yet, signing with the Mavericks means no income tax.