Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie walks the Kevin Durant tightrope

Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Spencer Dinwiddie (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Give Brooklyn Nets sixth man Spencer Dinwiddie credit for having a sense of humor while saying exactly what he wants, even about potential free agents.

The Brooklyn Nets have emerged over the last five weeks or so as a lower-tier playoff contender in the Eastern Conference and with a solid young core are looking for pieces to add to push the franchise closer to actual title contention.

One of the biggest free agents this summer will be Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, a former NBA MVP and winner of the last two Bill Russell trophies as Finals MVP.

For a team specifically lacking a high-caliber stretch 4 to take its 5-out, pace-and-space offensive philosophy to the next level, Durant might be a decent fit.

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Would the Nets get some mileage out of a 6-foot-9 (yeah, right), 240-pound stretch 4 who is a career 48.3 percent shooter overall and has hit 38.3 percent of his 3-point attempts over a 12-year NBA career?

Someone wrote about that possibility a few months ago and none of those reasons why Durant would fit in Brooklyn have changed.

Durant will be 31 before the beginning of next season and with averages of 28.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and a career-high 6.1 assists per game this season, will likely add a ninth All-NBA selection to his resume.

The Nets will be in a good position with regard to the salary cap in July, although not the much-ballyhooed two-max-contract-slots good.

But, with Spencer Dinwiddie locked in for the next three seasons at a reasonable three-year, $34.3 million with a player option and Joe Harris under contract for another season at $7.67 million (yes, he took more in the first year of his two-year deal last summer to give the club a bit more flexibility in 2019), Brooklyn can — theoretically — do two things.

  1. Sign one max free agent, such as Kevin Durant for example.
  2. Take care of restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell, provided he doesn’t get a max offer sheet from another team.

To that end, Dinwiddie responded wonderfully to a question from Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News about the possibility of adding Durant to the Nets’ mix, particularly in light of the NBA’s recent warning to teams about tampering rules following public comments by LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers in regard to New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

"“Why would I actively recruit arguably the best player in the world to come to our team when he would fill the exact spot that we need and potentially take us from just being an eighth, seventh seed or so, to an Eastern Conference championship team? Oh, please write this down. Why would I do that because then I’ll get in trouble for tampering.”"

As Dinwiddie pointed out later in his discussion with Bondy, the Nets have some solid pieces in the backcourt and in the middle. A star forward would be a logical fit.

"“I don’t see why we wouldn’t (be a destination for the stars this summer). Especially, I guess, at the forward spot. That’s where all the big free agents are and our biggest hole is probably at the forward spot. You got Jarrett Allen at the 5. We got (Russell) and Caris (LeVert) at the 1 and the 2. And which spots to fill? The 3 and the 4, right?”"

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Dinwiddie’s not wrong. The fact that he can do it with some humor while still making his point is just an added bonus.