The Brooklyn Nets’ championship push came up just short, as they were ultimately unable to overcome injuries to James Harden (hamstring) and Kyrie Irving (ankle).
With those two superstars on the shelf, and Joe Harris looking like a shell of the sniper he was during the regular season, Kevin Durant simply had too much on his plate.
While those factors played a huge role in derailing the Nets’ title charge, what doesn’t get discussed enough in that conversation is Spencer Dinwiddie’s early-season injury.
Entering a contract year and fresh off a breakout season in 2019-20, Dinwiddie suffered a partially-torn ACL three games into the campaign and never returned.
That seemed to mark the end of Dinwiddie’s run with the Nets, and that notion was basically confirmed when it was reported that he’s expected to decline his player option.
So, with Dinwiddie seemingly set on testing the free agent waters this summer, what squad seems the most likely to steal the 28-year-old guard from the Nets?
Which team is the frontrunner to land former Nets star Spencer Dinwiddie this summer?
Per the New York Daily News, Dinwiddie either wants a contract in the five-year, $125 million range from the Nets or to return to the Los Angeles area, where he was born.
That, of course, would make the Clippers or Lakers the prohibitive favorites to land Dinwiddie. However, both teams are over the luxury tax and would need to either shed salary in a hurry or complete a sign-and-trade with the Nets in order to acquire Dinwiddie.
It’s unclear if Dinwiddie would prefer to secure a big contract or sign with a contender at a discount to chase a championship. The Lakers or Clippers would check both boxes, but it’s extremely difficult to picture a scenario where either team goes all out in a pursuit of him.
In other words, Diniwiddie’s best bet might be to sign with a squad that has the necessary financial wiggle room to offer him a lucrative deal and can make noise in the playoffs.
In our eyes, that team is the Dallas Mavericks. Again, if we’re going by the book, the Lakers or Clippers are the actual favorites to steal Dinwiddie. However, if their cap situations make that impossible, the Mavericks could swoop in and add him to their backcourt.
How much cap space the Mavs will have this summer will depend on Josh Richardson’s $11.6 million player option. Either way, Dallas will have enough to offer Dinwiddie something in the range of his desired price. Not to mention Luka Doncic is the ultimate recruiting tool.
As presently constructed, the Mavericks have the potential to make a deep postseason run. However, they must emphasize pairing Doncic with another playmaking guard. With sixth man Jalen Brunson locked into his role off the bench, Dinwiddie could crack the starting rotation and form a potentially daunting partnership alongside the 22-year-old superstar.
Again, while the Lakers and Clippers might be Dinwiddie’s preferred destinations, it’s the Mavericks who could give him everything his heart desires this summer.