Brooklyn Nets 2017-18 player previews: Spencer Dinwiddie

BROOKLYN, NY - MARCH 19: Spencer Dinwiddie
BROOKLYN, NY - MARCH 19: Spencer Dinwiddie /

Of the many pleasant surprises that occurred for the Brooklyn Nets last season, the discovery and progression of Spencer Dinwiddie could trump them all.

Stats 2016-17: 7.3 PPG, 2.8 TRB, 3.1 AST, 44.4 FG%, 37.6 3PT%, 59 Games

Back in his college days, Spencer Dinwiddie was known as “The Mayor” to the Colorado Buffs faithful. I don’t suspect the nickname to regain momentum during his time in Brooklyn, but still, if you’re known as “The Mayor” to a large group of people, you’re doing something right.

Sure enough, Dinwiddie lifted the spirits of everyone involved with the Colorado basketball program. His 3-star rating coming out of high school was seen as less than impressive, but Dinwiddie put his naysayers to sleep immediately.

As a freshman, he started all 36 games, averaging 10 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 27 minutes.  As his collegiate career progressed, NBA front offices began to notice the 6’6″, 200-pound point guard. After two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, Dinwiddie led Colorado to an impressive 14-2 start as a junior, including wins over #6 Kansas and #10 Oregon. Check out his numbers against top-notch competition.


During his junior season, DraftExpress projected Dinwiddie to be a first-round pick.

Unfortunately, a torn ACL suffered in the first half of a road game at Washington would end his college basketball career. While the injury was certainly devastating for the team, Dinwiddie’s career was taking a hit as well. His draft stock began to decline, and he was left with more questions than answers moving forward.

“It’s a big blow for him, he’s worked so hard to put himself in the position he has and help lead this team to where we are today,” said coach Tad Boyle.

Dinwiddie wound up declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft, and was selected 38th overall by the Detroit Pistons. He appeared in 46 games, averaging less than 14 minutes per contest. He showed flashes during that time, but it was never enough to solidify a role for the future within the organization. After bouncing around the D-League, Dinwiddie was deemed a fit for team with an immediate need.

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With Greivis Vasquez going down with a season-ending injury, and Jeremy Lin nursing an ankle injury, the Brooklyn Nets were left with Yogi Ferrell and Isaiah Whitehead at the point, both rookies.

In the weeks before the injuries, Dinwiddie had multiple impressive outings in the D-League. As we know now, the Nets came calling. After all, Dinwiddie possessed more NBA experience than the two Nets point guards combined.

Dinwiddie was given a 10-day contract by Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets.  Safe to say, he showed he belonged. His poise and basketball intelligence were on full display as he was thrown into the fire on multiple occasions to run an unfamiliar offense. He earned himself a partially-guaranteed contract that would keep him in Brooklyn for the remainder of the season. By season’s end, Dinwiddie had all but established himself as a valuable asset and a key piece for the future with the Nets.

From the moment he took the floor for Brooklyn, he looked comfortable. He’s a player who knows basketball, inside and out. You can feel him read a defense as you watch him operate. The Nets front office seems to be attracted by players with the savvy Dinwiddie possesses.

So what made Dinwiddie so successful with Brooklyn, but not Detroit? It’s simple. He made more shots. With Detroit, he showed the potential to create offense for himself and others, but his three-point shooting was a real weakness.

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Some players have trouble adjusting to the length of the NBA three-point line, and Dinwiddie seemed to be a culprit. In college, he connected on 38.6% of his attempts from distance, but in Detroit, he shot a frigid 17.3% from beyond-the-arc.

However, after joining Brooklyn, Dinwiddie seemed to get back to his old ways. In addition to shooting an impressive 37.6% from three, he posted a team-high 2:8 assist/turnover ratio, which was good enough for 22nd in the NBA. Again, his poise cannot be undervalued, and his intelligence for the game should bode well for the Nets moving forward.

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Aside from his on-court progress, Dinwiddie has made a name for himself on the social media platform. His willingness and passion for connecting with fans has resulted in serious brownie points with the Nets fan base.

He speaks his mind on Twitter, not worrying about what others may think. What’s most impressive though, is his intelligence for the world outside of basketball. The guy almost went to Harvard. When he speaks, or tweets, people are interested in the topics he’s discussing. Here’s a great example of Dinwiddie interacting with fans and the media.
Twitter: @SDinwiddie_25 

I gotchu, Spence.

Dinwiddie’s momentum continues to shift in the right direction leading into this season. The opportunity to carve out a larger role in the organization awaits, and he knows his time is now. For a player who’s been counted out all of his life, the Nets will count on him this season to help garner success.