Brooklyn Nets 2018-19 Primer: Spencer Dinwiddie enters season of uncertainty

Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) /
Brooklyn Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie
CHICAGO, USA – APRIL 7: Spencer Dinwiddie (8) of Brooklyn Nets in action during the NBA game between Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, United States on April 7, 2018. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) /

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has had a whirlwind offseason, going to China, starting a Twitter beef, but faces some uncertainty entering a contract year.

Spencer Dinwiddie: Brooklyn Nets guard and international man of intrigue. Dinwiddie had a busy offseason, to be sure, basking in the glow of a breakout 2017-18 campaign during which he was a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.

Dinwiddie did the work to get to this point and was rewarded when the Nets guaranteed the final year of the three-year contract he signed as a free agent in December 2016.

And Dinwiddie kept himself busy over the offseason, to be sure. Dinwiddie played in former teammate Jeremy Lin‘s benefit exhibition in China, started a Twitter beef with New York Knicks center Enes Kanter that had both fan bases buzzing and began a program at Harvard University aimed at helping athletes cross over into business ventures.

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Dinwiddie also spent some time in his hometown of Los Angeles participating in a new clinic started by former NBA guard Pooh Jeter aimed at joining NBA players with high-school players — boys and girls — and some L.A. area college players for skills development and professional mentoring.

The 25-year-old Dinwiddie enters the 2018-19 season with a defined role as the Nets’ top backup guard behind starters D’Angelo Russell and Allen Crabbe and the 6-foot-6, 200-pounder is also entering his walk year.

While some veterans entering the final year of their contracts have already agreed to extensions, Dinwiddie’s situation is somewhat different. Because he didn’t originally sign with the Nets until December, he can’t be extended until the anniversary date of his deal — Dec. 8.

Jeff Siegel of discussed the complications of Dinwiddie’s situation, as the former second-round pick could be in line for a four-year extension worth up to $47.5 million, with a starting salary in 2019-20 of $10.6 million.

Heady stuff for a guy who is in line to make $1.66 million this season.

But the Nets are also looking to save cap space for next summer’s expected free agency bonanza that could include stars such as Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard — All-Stars who all have player options for 2019-20 that they are expected to decline in order to hit the market.

Essentially, what Nets general manager Sean Marks has is nearly two months in which to watch Dinwiddie’s development as a player before the extension window opens in December.

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  • Dinwiddie’s breakout season included averaged of 12.6 points, 6.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game — all career-highs. His shooting was not always on point, as his slash line of .387/.326/.813 was less than stellar.

    In 22 games after the All-Star break, Dinwiddie shot just .381/.283/.787 — something that could have been attributed to fatigue, considering that his 2,306 minutes played last season eclipsed his previous NBA season high by almost 1,000.

    His free-throw percentage did improve last season and Dinwiddie posted 44.4 percent overall and 37.6 percent 3-point shooting marks in 2016-17, so it’s not illogical to believe that after an offseason or rest, recovery and work, Dinwiddie’s accuracy will approach those levels this season.

    Trade rumors will follow Dinwiddie this season as well. He’s already been linked to the point-guard-needy Phoenix Suns as a potential target and there were rumors — unfounded as it turned out — that Dinwiddie and DeMarre Carroll were being shopped by the Nets before the NBA Draft.

    In a season during which almost no one has cap space, Dinwiddie’s small contract makes him a very valuable trade chip, even as he is expected to play a key role for Brooklyn this season. For a team still in a rebulding mode, that ability to move Dinwiddie for future assets can’t be ignored.

    In the meantime, Dinwiddie — whose engaging personality and sense of humor make him a popular follow on social media — is controlling what he can control and enjoying the moment with Twitter gold such as this:

    He is, of course, referring to Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas:

    Next. 10 best seasons in franchise history. dark

    It’s hard not to want to root for a player who shows a well-rounded look at the universe.