Spencer Dinwiddie

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Atlantic Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if those players’ stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Atlantic Division:

Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets, 25, PG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $3.9MM deal in 2016
Dinwiddie has been one of the biggest bargains in the league over the past couple of years but he figures to get a hefty pay raise next summer. Dinwiddie may not be the prototypical point guard but he can carry an offense at times. He’s averaging 14.9 PPG while shooting 48.9% overall and 43.5% from long range. He’s a career 32.5% 3-point shooter, so if he can establish himself as a solid long-range threat, he’ll be even more valuable. He had a 25-point outburst, all after halftime, and made the game-winning shot against his former team, the Pistons, on Wednesday.

Damyean Dotson, Knicks, 24, SG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $4MM deal in 2017
Dotson has a non-guaranteed salary next season. It’s hard to see the Knicks cutting a productive player on a dirt-cheap deal loose unless they hit the jackpot on a couple of top level free agents and need to open up more cap space. Dotson, a second-round pick last summer, has taken advantage of an injury to rookie Kevin Knox, scoring in double digits in each of the last six games. He’s also been a factor on the boards, averaging nearly six per game. Dotson has earned coach David Fizdale’s trust, though it will be interesting to see how much his minutes drop when Knox returns.

Wilson Chandler, Sixers, 31, SF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $46.5MM deal in 2015
The Sixers were hoping that Chandler would be a key component of their second unit. They’re still waiting to see if that’s the case, as Chandler has yet to make his Philadelphia debut due to a hamstring injury. Chandler has been durable in recent seasons, appearing in at least 71 games for the Nuggets the past three seasons, but he’s at the point of his career where injuries could be a growing concern.

Marcus Morris, Celtics, 29, PF (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $20MM deal in 2015
Brad Stevens has a lot of quality pieces to fit but Morris doesn’t need to worry about his rotation spot. He’s posting averages of 14.4 PPG and 7.4 RPG in 25.6 MPG off the bench while guarding three different positions. Those stats are even more impressive on a loaded team with a lot of mouths to feed. Morris is due for a huge pay increase after signing a team-friendly deal with the Suns three years ago.

Greg Monroe, Raptors, 28, C (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2.17MM deal in 2018
Monroe is the type of player who’s getting phased out of the league. He’s a low-post scorer with slow feet who has difficulty making defensive switches. He’s made only two brief appearances with the Raptors thus far and will likely remain at the end of the bench unless injuries pile up. Monroe will likely have to settle for a similar contract in free agency next summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Spencer Dinwiddie Would ‘Love’ Extension From Nets

Spencer Dinwiddie will become extension-eligible next month and would “love” to sign a new deal with the Nets, as he tells Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Brooklyn would be able to offer Dinwiddie up to about $47.5MM over four years, and such a deal would “strongly appeal” to the point guard, league sources tell Scotto.

“Oh, I mean, I’d love to have (an extension),” Dinwiddie said. “I’d love to be here. This organization has shown me hospitality and given me an opportunity like I haven’t had in the NBA before, so I’m definitely indebted to them, and if they decide to sign me, I’d be one of the happiest players in the league.”

Veteran players on three-year contracts like Dinwiddie’s become eligible to receive a contract extension on the two-year anniversary of their signing. For the 25-year-old, that date is December 8, so Brooklyn could offer a new contract at that point. Dinwiddie’s maximum starting salary on such a deal would be approximately $10.6MM, 120% of the NBA’s estimated average salary.

Extensions of these nature have become a little more common under the league’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement — Norman Powell and Josh Richardson both signed them last year. However, it’s not clear if the Nets would be willing to put that sort of offer on the table for Dinwiddie, since they’re looking to maximize their 2019 cap room and will also have to consider a potential long-term deal for another point guard, D’Angelo Russell.

Given Dinwiddie’s very modest cap hold ($1.6MM), it probably doesn’t make sense for Brooklyn to do an in-season extension and cut into next year’s cap space, which could be enough for two star free agents. That means the fifth-year guard will likely enter next offseason as an unrestricted free agent. Still, if the Nets are willing to do get something done before then, Dinwiddie would be interested. As he explains to Scotto, it’s more about his desire to remain in Brooklyn than his interest in gaining long-term security as soon as possible.

“If I didn’t want to be here, it would just be a flat out ‘no,’ and I’d tell everybody, ‘Hey, I want to go into unrestricted free agency, and that’s just what it is,'” Dinwiddie said. “It really, as it is now, the ball is in their court. I guess I’m always a bridesmaid so far in the NBA. I’m ready to be a bride, I guess.”

After enjoying a breakout season in 2017/18, Dinwiddie has been even better so far this season, averaging 14.9 PPG, 3.6 APG, and 2.5 RPG with a shooting line of .489/.435/.813 in 27.5 minutes per contest.

New York Notes: LeVert, Porzingis, Dinwiddie, Fizdale

Caris LeVert wasn’t guaranteed a spot in the Nets’ rotation heading into training camp, notes Michael Scotto of The Athletic, but through two games he looks like the early favorite for Most Improved Player. LeVert torched the Knicks for a career-high 28 points Friday night, including the game-winning shot. That followed a 27-point outburst against the Pistons in the season opener.

A month ago, LeVert was part of a large group in Brooklyn battling for playing time. He was competing with DeMarre Carroll, Joe Harris and Allen Crabbe at the wings and D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie and Shabazz Napier in the backcourt. LeVert’s transformation may be shocking to outsiders, but teammate Jarrett Allen said it has been building for a while.

“We saw it during the summer,” he said. “We knew it was coming, but coming out and playing like this not even we expected him scoring almost 30 points every night, but he’s coming out and showing all the work he’s done this summer is paying off.”
There’s more from New York City:
  • The rivalry between the Knicks and Nets may be more intense next summer than it is during the season, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Both teams should be in the running for lottery picks and both will have plenty of cap room to make a splash on the free agent market. Berman suggests that Brooklyn, which may be in position to offer two max contracts, could really heat things up by pursuing Kristaps Porzingis, who will be a restricted free agent after the deadline for an extension passed without a deal. The Nets can offer him a chance to play alongside fellow Latvian Rodions Kurucs.
  • If the Knicks can’t get a star to take a max offer, they could spend some of their money on Dinwiddie, Berman adds in the same piece. He notes that New York tried to work out a deal for the Nets guard in February, but decided the price was too high and opted for Emmanuel Mudiay instead.
  • David Fizdale’s relaxed exchanges with the media are a sign that a transformation has taken place among Knicks management, contends Harvey Araton of The New York Times. Owner James Dolan has produced a smothering environment among previous coaches, but Fizdale feels free to be open and honest in his assessment of players.

Atlantic Notes: Hayward, Dinwiddie, Graham, Sixers

Just one year following his gruesome ankle injury that sidelined him the entire 2017/18 season, Gordon Hayward made his return to the court this preseason with the Celtics. He appeared in three contests, working to regain his footing and talent that helped him become a top small forward in the league before the injury.

The Celtics refuse to rush the process of his return, allowing Hayward to control his pace and progression as Tuesday’s season opener against Philadelphia nears.

“I think Gordon will probably be a little limited early from a minutes standpoint,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “Not in any big way, but we’ll probably have to manage that just because he’s been out for so long.”

Despite the possible limitation, Hayward is expected to play in back-to-backs this season, Stevens added. The same goes for teammate Kyrie Irving, who underwent knee surgery in April. With a healthy Hayward and Irving, the Celtics are expected to be at the forefront of contention in the East.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

Atlantic Rumors: Dinwiddie, Robinson, Irving, Kanter

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has mixed feelings about hearing his name in trade rumors, according to an Associated Press report. Dinwiddie is considered a potential target for the Suns, who are in the market for a point guard. Dinwiddie is playing for the bargain rate of $1.656MM before he enters the free agent market next season, and the Nets have other point guard options, which only fuels the trade talk. “Being in trade rumors all summer I guess is two pieces: I want to be here. I love being here. I’m happy that they didn’t (trade me). On the flip side, the spectrum of teams calling me (meant) obviously I played well,” Dinwiddie said.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks point guard Trey Burke doles out high praise when asked about second-round pick Mitchell Robinson, Zach Braziller of the New York Post writes. The 7’1” center has dazzled teammates during fall workouts and Burke compares him to a Hall of Famer. “I got a chance to play with him in open gym, and I was shocked a little bit,” Burke said. “His ability to just get a rebound off of the rim, just go right back up and just dunk it, it reminded me of like a young — and this is high praise — it reminded me of like a young Shaquille O’Neal, just skinnier.”
  • Kyrie Irving is trying to downplay the notion that he wants to leave Boston when he becomes a free agent next summer, as he told Celtics.com in comments that were relayed by USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt. The Celtics point guard even tossed out the possibility of getting his jersey in the rafters with other franchise greats when he retires. “Obviously it’s everybody else’s job to look forward to my future before I can, so I just really thought it was important to make sure it’s known that this franchise is really built for the next few years of being at the top-tier of teams in the league,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? What more could you ask for from an organization to really elevate your game? When you want to be on the same lineage of greatness as the guys that have come before you, there are times where I have thought about having No. 11 in the rafters, hopefully, one day. That’s a dream.”
  • Another player heading into free agency next summer, center Enes Kanter, reiterated his desire to re-sign with the Knicks, Ian Begley of ESPN tweets“I want to retire here. Nothing has changed,” Kanter said.

Atlantic Rumors: Green, LeVert, Marks, Williams

Danny Green believes Kawhi Leonard will have a tough time leaving the city of Toronto once he settles in during his first season with the Raptors, Kurt Helin of NBC Sports relays. Green, who was included in the blockbuster deal that sent Leonard to Toronto, made the comment during an Inside the Green Room Podcast. “The city of Toronto is gonna be hard to turn down after being there. I’ve been going every summer for the past 10-plus years. It’s a great city and the fans are amazing. … I’m getting a great amount of feedback, a great amount of love and all types of different stuff from the fans. So it’s gonna be tough for him to turn down.” Leonard can opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

In other developments around the Atlantic Division:

  • LeVert played a total of 30 games at the point last season when D’Angelo Russell was injured, Milholen notes, and posted averages of 13.2 PPG and 4.8 APG in 27.2 MPG. Russell will start for Brooklyn and the Nets also have free agent addition Shabazz Napier at that spot. LeVert can also be viewed as a long-term insurance policy since Russell could become a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn’t sign an extension, Milholen adds.
  • The early returns on Sean Marks‘ first-round picks bode well for next June’s draft, Jason Max Rose of NetsDaily.com opines. The Nets GM found two valuable assets during the last two drafts in LeVert and starting center Jarrett Allen, even though those picks were in the bottom third of the first round, Rose notes. Thus, Marks and his staff have shown they can not only identify talent but develop players as well, Rose adds. The Nets could have two first-rounders in June, their own pick plus the Nuggets’ top-12 protected pick acquired this summer.
  • Dominating at the G League level would make for a successful rookie season for Celtics first-rounder Robert Williams, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. That’s where Williams will spend a good portion of the season, Blakely notes, and the big man must prove the left knee injury he’s dealing with won’t be a major issue. Williams also needs to show more maturity off the court, Blakely adds.

Suns Considering Beverley, Joseph, Dinwiddie

Some more names have emerged in the Suns’ search for a point guard, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, who reports that the team has targeted the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley, the Pacers’ Cory Joseph and the Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie.

Beverley may be expendable in L.A. after the Clippers matched an offer sheet this week for Tyrone Wallace. That move gives the team 17 players with guaranteed contracts and adds to a crowded backcourt that also includes Avery Bradley, Jawun Evans, Milos Teodosic, Sindarius Thornwell, Lou Williams and first-round picks Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson.

Beverley has a non-guaranteed deal that will pay him a little more than $5MM for the upcoming season. The 30-year-old received full medical clearance in June after having microfracture and meniscus surgery on his knee last November. He started all 11 games he appeared in before the injury, posting a 12.2/4.1/2.9 line, and is considered among the NBA’s best defensive point guards.

Joseph, 27, has a $7.9MM expiring contract. One of the league’s best sixth men, he averaged 7.9/3.2/3.2 while playing all 82 games in his first year with the Pacers. However, Indiana has Darren Collison entrenched as its starter and selected Aaron Holiday in the first round of this year’s draft.

Dinwiddie, 25, would come much cheaper at $1.6MM and is also on an expiring contract. He played 80 games for the Nets last season with a 12.6/3.2/6.6 line.

The Suns have been in the market for point guard help since trading Brandon Knight to the Rockets last month. Isaiah Canaan, Shaquille Harrison, De’Anthony Melton and Elie Okobo are the only options on the current roster.

Nets Notes: Napier, Dinwiddie, Faried, Russell

The opportunity to frequently play off the ball was the selling point that convinced Shabazz Napier to sign with the Nets, according to Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily.com. Napier would seemingly have a limited role on a team that already has D’Angelo Russell at Spencer Dinwiddie to run the offense but coach Kenny Atkinson plans to give Napier the chance to play both guard spots. Napier was the primary backup guard with the Trail Blazers last season and shot 45% on catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts and 37.7% overall from long range, Puccio notes. “I don’t need to be on the ball,” Napier said. “I proved that when I was in Portland.”

In other news concerning the Nets:

  • Speculation that Dinwiddie could be dealt is reasonable, given his modest contract, but the Nets like him a lot and may re-sign him, according to a Net Income post. The Suns are searching for a starting point guard and the chance to acquire Dinwiddie, who will make $1.65MM during the upcoming season, on an expiring contract would be attractive. However, the Nets could also offer Dinwiddie a four-year extension in December or try to re-sign him next summer at a bigger number than others can offer due to owning his Bird rights.
  • Forward Kenneth Faried pled not guilty on Wednesday after being charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the fourth degree last month, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. Faried was arrested in Bridgehampton on the misdemeanor for allegedly possessing more than two ounces of the drug. The Nuggets traded Faried and his expiring $13,76MM contract to Brooklyn in mid-July.
  • Should the Nets give Russell an extension? We examined the pros and cons in our Extension Candidate series. Check it out here.

Western Rumors: Rozier, Williams, Durant, Rockets

The Celtics’ Terry Rozier and the Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie are two of the logical trade targets for the Suns in their search for a point guard, according to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype. Rozier is a solid two-way player coming off a career year but the Suns would likely have to offer a package that included an unprotected first-rounder to catch Boston’s attention. A trade for Dinwiddie would be more plausible and he’d be a good fit with Phoenix considering his size, perimeter shooting and pick-and-roll prowess, Urbina continues. The Clippers’ Patrick Beverley, the Cavaliers’ George Hill and the Hornets’ Kemba Walker are some of the other names Urbina throws out as potential targets. The Suns are searching for a starting point guard after trading away Brandon Knight to the Rockets last week.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans signed Troy Williams, Kenrich Williams and Garlon Green to partially-guaranteed contracts in the hope of finding one reliable small forward, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate notes. That trio will compete for a roster spot, though the potential addition of swingman Tyrone Wallacesigned to an offer sheet on Monday — could change that. “They just told me they’re bringing some guys in and having them go head-on to see who wins a spot,” Kenrich Williams told Kushner.
  • By buying out Luol Deng‘s contract and using the stretch provision, the Lakers gave themselves a chance to offer Kevin Durant a max salary in free agency, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders examines. The Lakers now project to have $38.2MM in cap space, which would be just enough to afford Durant, Pincus continues. If they can’t land Durant, they’ll certainly have enough to bring in another All-Star level talent. Other high-level potential free agents, including Kawhi Leonard, Klay ThompsonDeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, Walker and Kyrie Irving, could command a first-year salary of $33MM, leaving the Lakers with another $5MM to spend in other ways, Pincus adds.
  • The Rockets took a frugal approach this summer and it could cost them a title, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post opines. They traded away Ryan Anderson and allowed two key wing players to walk in free agency. In turn, they signed three players on veteran’s minimum deals and adding a couple of bench players in the Anderson trade, Bontemps notes. So while Houston execs had said they were unconcerned about the luxury tax, their actions showed they wanted to save some money, Bontemps adds.

New York Notes: Frazier, Anthony, Lin, Dinwiddie

Carmelo Anthony spent six and a half years in New York and ranks seventh on the team’s career scoring list, but Knicks legend Walt Frazier doesn’t believe that’s enough for Anthony to have his number retired. In comments made during an interview this week with Sirius XM and relayed by The New York Post, Frazier says several other former Knicks are more deserving of the honor.

“Probably not because he didn’t win a title,” Frazier said in response to a question about Anthony. “I’m surprised they didn’t put Allan Houston up there. I’m surprised Bernard King, who is in the Hall of Fame, they haven’t put Bernard up there. So those two guys I think are deserving. Perhaps maybe John Starks. Even the Oak Man, Charles Oakley, but that probably won’t happen with all the stuff he’s done at the Garden. So he’s not held in high esteem right now, but I don’t see them putting Melo in there because of that.”

The Knicks have retired nine numbers, including Frazier’s, but any sort of ceremony for Anthony seems like a long way off. He’s not in high esteem either after a string of non-playoff seasons, followed by a trade demand in response to a long feud with former team president Phil Jackson.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski believes the Knicks will be successful in their pursuit of a high-level free agent next summer. Speaking on his Woj Pod, the NBA insider predicts New York “will get somebody next year.” The team should have enough cap space to offer at least one max contract and could open more room by using the stretch provision on Joakim Noah.
  • Former Nets guard Jeremy Lin apologized to coach Kenny Atkinson for being injured so often after he learned he had been traded to the Hawks, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lin was sidelined for the season after being hurt on opening night last year and played just 37 games in two seasons with Brooklyn. “Jeremy said to me, ‘I feel bad I wasn’t healthy for you guys,’” Atkinson said. “… That’s the kind of guy he was. He wasn’t bitter, he was frustrated we never got to see him over a stretch of time. Above all he was frustrated, as the organization was frustrated we didn’t have him on the court. I believe in the player to the utmost. … It’s frustrating and sad he had bad luck during his time with us.”
  • Working out an extension with Spencer Dinwiddie could be complicated for the Nets, explains Jeff Siegel of Forbes. Dinwiddie will be eligible for an extension from December 8, the second anniversary of his current contract, through June 30. He could make up to $47.5MM over four seasons, beginning with a $10.6MM salary in 2019/20. However, Siegel notes that Brooklyn is committed to D’Angelo Russell as its primary ballhandler and will take time to see how Dinwiddie fits alongside him before beginning extension talks.