It’s inevitable that teams who need a point guard will call the Brooklyn Nets about Spencer Dinwiddie, but waiting is the wisest move.
The Brooklyn Nets could be one of the biggest surprises of the 2018-19 season. Spencer Dinwiddie’s breakout season in 2017-18 can only mean good things for the Nets moving forward. He filled in nicely as the starter when D’Angelo Russell struggled through injury problems. Dinwiddie definitively proved he deserves a spot in someone’s rotation.
Whether Dinwiddie can be a starter on a playoff-caliber team remains to be seen. But even if he only projects as an excellent backup, the point guard will garner attention on the trade market. The Phoenix Suns are already interested in Dinwiddie.
The Nets may eventually realize that trading Dinwiddie is in their best interests but now is not the time.
Phoenix Suns Interest
The Phoenix Suns are in a strange place right now. They are in the process of retooling their roster around Devin Booker — their new franchise player. Booker is the recent recipient of a five-year, $158 million contract extension. He recently underwent hand surgery, but shouldn’t miss more than a few games in the regular season if his recovery goes smoothly.
The Suns also signed Trevor Ariza to a one-year deal. They have some promising young players on the roster like Josh Jackson and first overall pick of the 2018 draft, Deandre Ayton. They recently traded for Ryan Anderson and gave up an underachieving Marquese Chriss and starting point guard, Brandon Knight.
The front office can’t expect to make the playoffs this season, but it appears that they don’t want to completely tank for another season. Without Knight, they began their search for a point guard. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 first reported that the Suns were pursuing the likes of Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, and Terry Rozier. Gambadoro later reported that Phoenix changed their approach and began targeting Patrick Beverley, Cory Joseph, and you guessed it, Spencer Dinwiddie.
But there doesn’t appear to be much movement on that front. At this point in time, the Nets seem willing to stand pat and reevaluate closer to the trading deadline, and for good reason. If Phoenix isn’t willing to offer heaven and earth for Dinwiddie, there’s no need to rush into a deal. They need a point guard, but they likely won’t factor into the playoff race this year so they won’t be completely desperate.
Of course, the Nets and the Suns connected on a deal earlier this summer. The Suns traded Jared Dudley and a top-35 protected second-round pick to Brooklyn in exchange for Darrell Arthur. There’s recent history between the two teams so a deal is always a possibility.
What Would It Take To Move Him
We already know that the Nets want a king’s ransom if they’re going to part with Dinwiddie. Zach Lowe reported (via NetsDaily) that Brooklyn turned down the Cavaliers offer of a late first-round pick. That pick ended up turning into Moritz Wagner at 25. Perhaps the Nets didn’t want to aid the team that had their pick, but that’s a different story for a different day.
The fact is, the Nets turned down a late first-rounder for Dinwiddie. You have to imagine that they would want something in addition to a late first-round pick. Maybe adding in a young player or a second-round pick would do the trick. It’s not exactly clear whether or not the Nets would part ways with Dinwiddie for that return, but they could get something similar once the trade deadline creeps closer.
At this point, the Nets know they can get a late first-rounder at the bare minimum for Dinwiddie. It’s unclear if they could get more, but there should be interest around the deadline, so they’ll have a better grasp on what Dinwiddie’s market as February approaches.
Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell should get another opportunity to play alongside one another. The two didn’t quite develop the right chemistry last season, but they shouldn’t give up on the possibility of the pairing based on half of a season. Allow Kenny Atkinson to see if he can make it work. The two could be a dynamic backcourt duo. Possibly even one that could lure free agents in the next couple years.
Not to mention, as the season progresses, the organization may get a feel for whether or not Dinwiddie wants to re-sign in Brooklyn or test the free agent market. If they sense the latter, they can trade Dinwiddie to a team that is in critical need of a ballhandler. Conversely, if they sense that he wants to re-sign, it’s possible he signs him a team friendly deal a la Joe Harris. The Nets then have another building block in place for the future. That could be much more valuable to the Nets than a pick in the mid-20s.
The Nets are making the right decision if they do ultimately pass on any trades for Dinwiddie before the season starts. Trading the much-improved point guard may be the right thing to do eventually. But that doesn’t appear to be the case right now. Give him some more time on the court with Russell and gauge his feelings on his future.
It’s far too early to part ways with Dinwiddie.