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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Alex Caruso
Alex Caruso. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /

1. Alex Caruso

Los Angeles. The land of sunshine, and towering, multi-million-dollar celebrity houses blocking said sunshine. If Dinwiddie truly wants to return home, the Nets could work something out with their Western Division rivals that includes landing Alex Caruso in Brooklyn.

Of course, this trade involves more giving than receiving on Brooklyn’s part. Caruso is set to be an unrestricted free agent this season and could reportedly command upwards of $12 million in average annual value. His burgeoning friendship with LeBron James will probably be the largest obstacle the Nets have to jump over, but it’s not impossible.

The Nets and Lakers almost made a trade that would have sent Caruso’s underperforming teammate, Kyle Kuzma, to Brooklyn in exchange for Dinwiddie, but Kuzma’s playoff performance and inconsistent showings throughout the season make him a poor investment for the Nets. Why not shoot a little higher?

Caruso’s defensive impact makes him, immediately, a safe choice for the Nets, who aren’t exactly looking for more offensive firepower. He’s grown into his small but mighty role in a James-Davis star-laden framework that maps well onto the Nets, who have a supernova trifecta of their own. Caruso has made a career out of playing hard, gritty basketball, which means putting in the dirty work when no one else wants to. That’s the perfect kind of player Brooklyn needs in Dinwiddie’s absence.

It’s true, the Nets wouldn’t be able to pay him very much, but as long as those Big Three stay on the team, any basketball player would be crazy to not at least consider an offer to play with them. Caruso’s already spent time with James. Isn’t there a tiny, even molecular, part of him that’s itching to play with Harden, Irving, AND Durant as well? Whatever he decides, Brooklyn will be waiting.

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