Brooklyn Nets done did it: Spencer Dinwiddie nabs 3-year extension

Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets pulled the trigger Thursday, agreeing to terms with Spencer Dinwiddie on a 3-year, $34 million extension that includes a player option.

Spencer Dinwiddie said all along that Brooklyn was where he wanted to be and he put his money where his mouth was Thursday, agreeing to terms with the Brooklyn Nets on a three-year, $34 million extension.

Dinwiddie became eligible for an extension of up to four years and $47.5 million on Saturday, the anniversary date of his signing with the Nets in 2016. The sides went for a shorter deal that will allow Dinwiddie to explore free agency sooner, perhaps as soon as two years.

The deal reportedly includes a player option for 2021-22.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the deal.

According to Wojnarowski, the extension will pay Dinwiddie $10.6 million next season, $11.4 million in 2020-21 and the player option is for $12.3 million in 2021-22.

Dinwiddie likely left money on the table. A finalist for Most Improved Player honors last season, Dinwiddie has improved almost across the board this season as he has emerged as a contender for Sixth Man of the Year and would have been a sought-after unrestricted free agent.

But he’s a man happy with his decision, if his Instagram account is any indication:

The extension agreement comes a day after Dinwiddie came off the bench to score a career-high 39 points while sparking the Nets to a 127-124 road win over the Philadelphia 76ers. It is the most points by a Nets reserve since 1983-84, per Basketball-Reference.

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The previous high since 1983-84 had been 35 points, first by James Bailey against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 27, 1986, then by Derrick Coleman against the Boston Celtics Jan. 15, 1992, and most recently by Brook Lopez against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 30, 2015.

Dinwiddie’s shooting has improved sharply over last season, when he hit 38.7 percent overall and 32.6 percent from 3-point range. In 29 games this season, he is at 47.4 percent and 36.8 percent, respectively. The shooting percentage is a career-high.

His driving game has risen to an elite level this season, as he is shooting 55.3 percent on drives, seventh-best in the NBA among players with at least 10 drives per game. His 7.7 points per game off drives is 15th in the NBA.

Despite some tendencies to go isolation-heavy, Dinwiddie ranks 10th in the league, passing off the drive 33.8 percent of the time he puts the ball on the floor, so he is keeping other players involved.

Overall, Dinwiddie is averaging 16.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 28.7 minutes per game this season and has scored 10 or more points in 22 consecutive games off the bench, the longest streak by a Net since 1983-84, per Basketball-Reference.

The previous longest such streak had been 18 games by Roy Hinson in 1988-89. Sean Kilpatrick had the longest streak since the club moved to Brooklyn at 15 games across the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

With Dinwiddie in the fold, he goes from a $1.6 million cap hold as an unrestricted free agent to a $10.6 million guaranteed salary for 2019-20, carving $9 million off the available cap space.

Per Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Nets would still project to have flexibility under the cap next summer:

"The Spencer Dinwiddie $1.6M free agent hold is now replaced by a $10.6M salary in 2019-20. The Nets are still projected to have cap flexibility in July but how much will be based on the future of restricted free agents D’Angelo Russell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Including the combined $28.5M in cap holds for both players, Brooklyn projects to have $19M in room (includes two first round picks). The maximum amount for the Nets could increase to $46M if both players are not brought back."

D’Angelo Russell‘s future with the Nets becomes the most immediate question, considering the pending restricted free agent plays the same position as Dinwiddie, who is not as adept a 3-point shooter as Russell, but is a much stronger finisher at the rim.

Russell drives well, averaging 11.4 drives a game, but finishes just 47.2 percent while passing less frequently than Dinwiddie (30.1 percent) and turning the ball over more often (7.8 percent as opposed to Dinwiddie’s 6.4 percent rate).

Dinwiddie as a starter could be an interesting counter to Caris LeVert at the 2 when LeVert is healthy. Before he was injured, LeVert was averaging 12.7 drives a game and finishing with a bucket on 57.1 percent of those attempts. But LeVert’s turnover rate was 8.4 percent.

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But the Nets have time to figure all of that out, since Dinwiddie is now locked in for at least the next two seasons.