The Brooklyn Nets put together one of the best offensive seasons in the history of the NBA in 2020-21, but they largely did it without Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie, a multi-talented 28-year-old guard, suffered a partially torn ACL after just three games and, in addition to leaving a hole in Brooklyn’s perimeter rotation, he also missed most of the season just before he was eligible to hit unrestricted free agency. While Dinwiddie did have a $12.3 million player option, he is reportedly seeking a lofty deal, either from the Nets or another franchise, and Dinwiddie recently spoke to Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated about his upcoming free agency.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) July 8, 2021
The entire interview will certainly be worth listening to but, in the clip above, Dinwiddie cites the Nets as having “the ability to do something that other people can’t,” even while acknowledging he isn’t expecting every last dollar that he could possibly receive under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. In short, Brooklyn can exceed the salary cap to give Dinwiddie any contract up to the individual max, as the Nets have Dinwiddie’s Bird Rights in advance of free agency. “If the Nets come to the table like that and they’re being aggressive saying ‘Hey, we got five (years) and 125 (million) for you,’ I would say there’s a high likelihood that I go back to the Nets,” Dinwiddie said.
It is worth noting that the Nets are already projected to be well into the luxury tax, making a massive commitment to Dinwiddie financially painful, but he is correct in noting that the franchise can give him more money than any other under the NBA’s salary cap rules, and they are also the only team that can give him a fifth year. Later in the interview, he notes that “anybody can do that” when discussing offers of three years and $60 million, which may be a bit aggressive, but it is clear that Dinwiddie is envisioning a (very) large payday in the near future.
On one hand, Brooklyn is on the short list of teams that don’t necessarily have a glaring need for what Dinwiddie provides, as his primary value would be as an on-ball creator and the Nets have plenty of options with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. As such, it might make sense for both parties to move on. However, Dinwiddie’s market could be challenging as he comes off a long-term knee injury and, for the Nets, they have no way to replace his salary slot as a team that is already operating well over the cap. As a result, Dinwiddie’s free agent machinations will be highly interesting to die-hard NBA observers, and the veteran guard seems to want to stick around in Brooklyn, provided they pay him handsomely to do so.