The Brooklyn Nets might’ve added pieces like Patty Mills and retained Blake Griffin this offseason, but this organization has also had to swallow some big losses, as finding out that Jeff Green was on his way to Denver was made even worse by the fact that Spencer Dinwiddie decided to bolt for a more lucrative deal elsewhere.
While Dinwiddie topped 20 points per game during the 2019-20 season, his ACL injury and evolution into a Sixth Man role behind Kyrie Irving and James Harden in the backcourt made it difficult for the Nets to commit to him long-term.
The Washington Wizards, however, saw no qualms with making him a building block, as they decided to pay Dinwiddie $62 million over three years due to his suspected synergy with Bradley Beal. The Nets were able to make this a sign-and-trade type of affair, roping in several other teams to get a deal done.
The Nets were now one of the five teams included in the gnarly Russell Westbrook trade. While plenty of players are changing hands as a result of this move, Brooklyn ended up receiving a second-round draft pick in 2024, the right to swap second-round picks with either Golden State or Washington in 2025, and an $11.5 million trade exception.
The Brooklyn Nets got draft picks in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie.
Dinwiddie was an example of how excellent the Nets have been at developing players. After coming to Brooklyn as an oversized point guard without a reliable jump shot, he has since evolved into one of the more lethal offensive point guards in the Eastern Conference, capable of being a secondary scorer.
The Nets would’ve loved to keep him, as just three uninspiring games as a backup didn’t give Brooklyn enough time to really judge how effective of a fit he would be. Paying him almost $21 million per year, however, might be a bit too expensive for a Nets team already well into the luxury tax.
All hope is not lost in Brooklyn, as they placed a ton of emphasis this offseason on getting even more depth in the backcourt. Irving and Harden are two of the very best in the league at what they do, but the Nets’ lack of backcourt depth was exposed during the latter parts of the season. Perhaps letting Dinwiddie go was in the cards all along?
In addition to the Mills signing to add some more depth behind Irving and Harden at point guard, Jevon Carter was acquired from the Suns in a draft-day trade. Their first draft selection was also used on a guard in LSU’s Cameron Thomas. Losing Dinwiddie would be de-stabilizing for most franchises, but the Nets have weathered the storm quite well.
Dinwiddie will also get a chance to potentially compete for a playoff spot in Washington. Losing Westbrook hurts, but Dinwiddie and Bradley Beal is one heck of a backcourt. An armada of role players like Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could help the Wizards stand out in a weak division.
The Nets need to do whatever it takes in order to beef up the bench for a title run, and exchanging Dinwiddie for the financial freedom to make a few new additions might serve Brooklyn well in the long run. Dinwiddie’s contributions to the Nets during some very tough years will not be forgotten.
Dinwiddie’s great production was overlooked by the media at large, as the combination of playing on bad teams or playing in a tertiary role behind some of the biggest names in the game helped him fade into obscurity. If he gets a ton of shots up in Washington, he’ll put the league on notice and show everyone what he can do.