Brooklyn Nets: Who can replace Spencer Dinwiddie?

Dorian Finney-Smith. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Dorian Finney-Smith. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Chris Boucher
Chris Boucher. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Spencer Dinwiddie has exited the building.

Dinwiddie told the Nets on Thursday that he wants to be dealt in a sign-and-trade swap (or let loose entirely) to a team near his hometown of Los Angeles, or a team with enough cap space to offer him a belt-busting contract.

According to Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News, the combo guard wants to go home, or “wants the bag.” The source said, “Home is the preferred destination, but he wants to secure his financial future, too.”

Based on what we know so far, there’s no bad blood between Dinwiddie and the Nets. The Nets probably saw this for a long time coming, and Dinwiddie is just making his feelings known to the media at this point. Dinwiddie will get a peck on the forehead as Brooklyn bids him farewell and good luck, but the franchise needs to make sure he doesn’t leave for nothing. He’s their most valuable trade piece and as long they cooperate with him, there’s no reason this can’t be a win-win where everybody gets to go home to eat cake.

Dinwiddie’s preference for Los Angeles does put pressure on Brooklyn, though. The Nets will be looking negotiate a sign-and-trade with either the Lakers and Clippers, both of which are over the luxury tax threshold and wouldn’t be able to afford him otherwise.

Brooklyn has more options if Dinwiddie decides to chase the money, but then the trade would likely be with a team with oodles of salary cap space. Dinwiddie could reportedly command a four-year deal with an average salary of $15 to $20 million, and if he already turned down $12.3 million from Brooklyn, it’s obvious the man knows his worth.

With Dinwiddie just returning from an ACL injury, how many teams are willing to bet on his future health? Of those teams, which should Brooklyn target to replace their hole in the backcourt? Will this all end amicably or go up in flames?

Stay tuned for the next episode of Dinwiddie’s offseason transfer saga. In the meantime, here are three players who could be suitable replacements after taking Dinwiddie’s preferences into consideration.

 3. Chris Boucher

He won’t make nearly as many buckets as Dinwiddie, but Chris Boucher is a versatile power forward and center who would fare well in Brooklyn’s system. He’s been in many games as the saving grace for a flailing Raptors side, posting 13.6 points, 9.3 assists, and 6.7 rebounds a game. The way he plays emulates a younger, more athletic Brook Lopez, and who knows? He could grow into a bonafide center star for a Nets team that regrets their DeAndre Jordan signing every waking moment.

And even Boucher alone wouldn’t be worth it for a trade: the Raptors could also fork over Aron Baynes in return for Dinwiddie. It’s a two-for-one trade that immediately helps the Nets, as it gives them two big bodies to complement their usual small-ball formation. Add to the fact that Boucher has a surprisingly deadly three-point shooting percentage (he averaged 38.3 percent last season), and Brooklyn can cover their bases a bit more in preparation for next year’s title run.

Toronto is no Los Angeles, that’s for sure, but they also have one of the highest salary cap spaces and could more than afford Dinwiddie. If he can’t live in his hometown, he’ll at least make enough to visit as often as he likes. In Boucher and Baynes, the Nets would find adept giants who solve their center issues, and in Dinwiddie, Toronto would receive the potential heir to Kyle Lowry and a long-term fix to their own backcourt issue. Done and done.