Now that the Brooklyn Nets have officially closed the book on the 2021 NBA Draft, the squad can figure out what the best course of action is with regard to point guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Will he stay on as a Sixth Man, or will he be jettisoned in favor of some cheaper options?
Dinwiddie was able to average over 20 points per game in a year where both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were almost entirely sidelined due to injury.
However, after playing in just three games last year and tearing his ACL, the Nets might be able to sign-and-trade Dinwiddie in favor of some less risky options at point guard.
The Washington Wizards are in the market for a Russell Westbrook successor, as a trade that will send him to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a return centered around Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and No. 22 overall pick Isaiah Jackson is all but official. Jackson will be sent to the Pacers, with Aaron Holiday and Isaiah Todd coming from Indiana.
The Nets, per Shams Charania of The Athletic, turned down a package centered around Kuzma and Harrell in exchange for Dinwiddie.
If the Wizards are able to potentially sweeten the deal with a draft pick, Dinwiddie will get his payday in Washington while the Nets add two more experienced big men.
This Nets-Wizards trade sends Spencer Dinwiddie to Washington
This trade would work assuming that Dinwiddie signs a contract that pays him around $17 million per year, a fair number based on his performance.
While Harrell did opt into his $9.7 million player option, this trade can only be completed on August 17, as the moratorium on swapping recently-traded players will have expired.
Alize Johnson, who was stolen from the rival Raptors after a very impressive G League stint, has a career in this league, but he could be on the move to both help in making the money match up and give Washington a promising young big of their own.
Dinwiddie could theoretically be the Sixth Man on this Nets team, and while it might be fun to retain him if he is willing to take a massive pay cut, reports of an absurd asking price might make it nearly impossible for the Nets to extend their Big Three and meet Dinwiddie’s financial goals.
Instead, they should flip him for more size. While neither Kuzma nor Harrell will turn into prime Ben Wallace on the defensive end, they should be able to make it even tougher for teams to line up against the Nets.
Kuzma, who was originally picked by the Nets and traded to LA in the D’Angelo Russell deal, has seen his scoring and efficiency decline since LeBron James came to town, but he can provide shooting guard-esque ball-handling in a 6-10 frame.
He’d be an ideal power forward to come off of the bench, or an asset that could be flipped for either picks or a backcourt scorer to replace Dinwiddie.
Harrell might be a poor defender, but it’s easy to see where the former Sixth Man of the Year fits in with Brooklyn. A ferocious rebounder with a motor that is always running hot, Harrell is the perfect center off of the bench for the style of offense that Brooklyn wants to play, and they might even end up with a draft pick if they acquire him.
Dinwiddie has evolved from a G League player to a quality scorer on a playoff team, but the financial restrictions of the NBA and the current construction of this team could send Dinwiddie to the nation’s capital.