Nets: 3 replacements for Spencer Dinwiddie after ACL injury

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 22: Spencer Dinwiddie #26 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 22: Spencer Dinwiddie #26 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Emmanuel Mudiay, Utah Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – JANUARY 08: Emmanuel Mudiay #8 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

1. Emmanuel Mudiay

Because of how young he was when he entered the league and how nomadic his career has been to this point, Mudiay feels like a fading veteran, even though he is just 24 years old. A former top-10 recruit who chose playing in China over college basketball, Mudiay was picked seventh overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2015 draft, as the 6-3 guard’s ability to play both backcourt spots, handle the ball, run the fast break, and get to the rim all make him look like a future All-Star at point guard.

While he has put up respectable numbers of 11.0 points and 3.8 assists per game on 40 percent shooting, Mudiay has played for three teams in five years, following up a career-high 14.8 points per game with the New York Knicks in 2018-19 with a career-low mark of 7.3 points per game as a backup for Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley with the Utah Jazz last year. Now is the perfect time for the Nets to buy low on him, as Mudiay might be the best option on the market for Brooklyn if they want to replace Dinwiddie without giving more minutes to Luwawu-Cabarrot or Shamet.

Mudiay is not a great three-point shooter, as evidenced by his 32 percent career clip, nor will he be the defensive Swiss Army knife the long-limbed, 6-6 Dinwiddie was, but he’s proven that he can be an effective scorer in the league as a starter or reserve. In fact, his ability to penetrate would make him a refreshing change of pace on a Nets roster loaded with shooters, even giving him the potential to run the second unit as a point guard when Irving is resting on the bench. Mudiay might not have lived up to the hype he compiled as a high schooler, but he’s a solid NBA guard, and the Nets should pounce on him.