Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie is on one of the best runs of his career, a career that was validated Friday when he signed a 3-year, $34M extension.
A second-round pick by the Detroit Pistons in 2014 after a knee injury derailed his junior season at the University of Colorado, Dinwiddie signed a three-year, $34.3 million contract extension on Friday and stands with Joe Harris as another symbol of the Nets’ success at developing diamonds from lumps of coal.
Dinwiddie was traded by the Pistons for a player Detroit cut three weeks after acquiring him and was waived not once, but twice, by the Chicago Bulls before signing a three-year, non-guaranteed veteran’s minimum with Brooklyn in December 2016.
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The fifth-year guard was eligible for an extension of up to four years and $47.5 million. Per Michael Scotto of The Athletic (subscription required), the Nets had talked last summer about a three-year deal in the $21 million to $24 million ballpark.
They settled in between. Dinwiddie’s new deal, which takes effect next season, includes a player option for the final year in 2021-22, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent after two seasons if he chooses.
So Friday was a big day for Dinwiddie and he followed it up with yet another big night on the court, scoring 27 points with six assists while leading the Nets to their fourth straight victory, a 125-118 triumph over the Washington Wizards.
Since becoming eligible for an extension on Dec. 8, Dinwiddie has been scorching hot, scoring 91 points on 29-of-50 shooting (58 percent) over his last three games. He’s hit 7-of-16 (42.9 percent) from 3-point range and 26-of-33 (78.8 percent) from the free throw line over that span.
For the season, Dinwiddie is now averaging a career-high 17.2 points to go with 2.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 28.8 minutes per game. His shooting is at a career-high 47.7 percent overall and he’s at 36.4 percent from 3-point range.
After emerging as a finalist for Most Improved Player honors last season, Dinwiddie is a serious contender for Sixth Man of the Year accolades in 2018-19.
For Dinwiddie, the extension is about family, per Greg Logan of Newsday.
"“I can’t stress enough I’m thankful to be able to retire my parents. That is the biggest thing monetarily. Other than that, we’re not where we want to be. We’re trying to make the playoffs, trying to win championships in the future. That’s what I signed on to be a part of.”"
General manager Sean Marks, who signed Dinwiddie out of the NBA Developmental League two years ago, praised Dinwiddie for his work and his commitment to the organization.
"“I give Spencer a lot of credit. For him to say, ‘Hey look, I don’t want to hit free agency. I want to be part of what everybody is building in Brooklyn.’“When players like Spencer and Joe [Harris] in the summer are willing to come here and potentially or hypothetically leave money on the table and say, ‘I’m going to develop myself with the Nets,’ I think that speaks pretty highly of the character of those guys.”"
Dinwiddie likely could have landed a deal in the range of $12 million to $15 million per year had he entered the free agent market, so it’s safe to say he gave the Nets a hometown discount of sorts. He credited the organization for that, per Tom Dowd of Nets.com.
"“All credit goes to them and the culture that they’ve developed, the organization that they’ve built and the players they’ve put in that locker room. Just the overall tenor and the trajectory that we’re on. We all believe in it.“They also took a chance on me. That’s not lost on me at all and I really appreciate it.”"
Dinwiddie is 25 years old, but he made the assertion Friday that it’s a young 25.
"“If you look at the minutes I’ve actually played in the NBA, it’s far less than what a typical 25-year-old has played, so there’s a lot of development to go there.“In terms of mileage on my body, whatever it is, there’s a lot more to go. In pretty much any aspect, no matter how you cut it, how you slice it there’s a lot of room to go.”"
The Brooklyn Nets took a chance on Dinwiddie two years ago and were rewarded. Now Dinwiddie has gotten his reward while also showing — dare we say — loyalty to the organization that gave him that chance.
The Nets are trending up suddenly, following up an eight-game losing streak with four consecutive wins, so perhaps that playoff berth Dinwiddie mentioned isn’t such a far-fetched notion even in the short term.