Spencer Dinwiddie

Poll: Nets’ Playoff Chances

Heading into the 2018/19 season, many expected the Nets to make another jump in the standings as a result of their players developing and the quality depth they added in the offseason. However, there were no expectations that at the halfway point of the season, the Nets would be sitting in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference despite not having their best player available for the past two months.

The Nets are 21-23, which is even more impressive when you consider the fact that they were 8-18 in early December. Instead of focusing on getting the best draft pick possible, Kenny Atkinson continued to believe that his team could turn it around, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Since December 6, the Nets own the league’s 12th-ranked offense and 15th-best defense.

D’Angelo Russell has made strides as a playmaker and scorer, Spencer Dinwiddie is a top candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, and Joe Harris has provided elite shooting and floor-spacing.

Keep in mind that a lot of this recent run by the Nets has come without Allen Crabbe and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, not to mention Caris LeVert. The Nets use their depth and bench to their advantage on a nightly basis, which allows them to stay afloat when injuries strike.

With that being said, many still expect teams like the Pistons and Hornets to improve moving forward, while the Wizards have found new life since John Wall went down for the season. Do the Nets have enough top-end talent to lead them to the playoffs? Or will their strong bench and depth be enough for them to sneak in? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote

New York Notes: Knicks, Nets, Dinwiddie, Irving

The Knicks aren’t focused on contending this season, but that doesn’t mean that coach David Fizdale doesn’t have concerns about how his young team is playing. As Zach Braziller writes for The New York Post, Fizdale is frustrated with the lack of defense he is seeing on a nightly basis, and with good reason.

As Braziller points out, the Knicks have allowed at least 109 points in 21 straight games and currently rank 29th in the league with a defensive rating of 113.5, ahead of only the struggling Cavaliers.

Fizdale voiced his concerns regarding the team’s lack of weak side defense and the struggles to adjust defensive schemes. The Knicks may not be focused on the win-loss column, but Fizdale would surely love to see more effort and execution on the defensive end from his young players.

There’s more from the Atlantic division:

  • While the Nets currently sit in seventh in the Eastern Conference, Brian Lewis of The New York Post points out that they will have to go through a tough stretch of the schedule in the near future, which will test their playoff chances.
  • Speaking of the Nets, they would surely love to see Spencer Dinwiddie snap out of his slump as they enter this stretch of the schedule. As Brian Lewis points out, Dinwiddie is averaging just 11.5 points and 3.3 assists per game while shooting 35.1% and 16.7% from deep in the past four games, far cries from his season averages.
  • Hopeful Knicks fans have certainly enjoyed seeing the frustration being expressed by Kyrie Irving recently. Marc Berman of The New York Post wrote about how the Knicks may be able to take advantage of Irving’s frustrations and the Celtics underachieving so far this season.

Dinwiddie Extension Good News For Rozier, Russell?

League executives at last week’s G League Showcase in Las Vegas were “raving” about the Nets‘ deal to lock up Spencer Dinwiddie to a three-year, $34.3MM extension, comparing it to the Clippers‘ three-year, $24MM agreement with Lou Williams, writes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider-only link).

According to Marks, two teams he spoke to in Vegas had Dinwiddie ranked as the third-best point guard in the 2019 free agent class before he signed his extension, placing him behind only Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. That would have put Dinwiddie ahead of younger players like Terry Rozier (Celtics) and D’Angelo Russell (Nets), both of whom are on track for restricted free agency.

Rozier and Russell should benefit from Dinwiddie’s deal, since it takes one of 2019’s top FA point guards off the board and could create additional competition for their services. According to Marks, league execs in Vegas last week identified the Magic and Suns as probable suitors for Rozier and Russell, though the Celtics and Nets will have the upper hand until an offer sheet is on the table.

Here’s more from Marks:

  • Teams are monitoring Markelle Fultz, not just to keep an eye on his health and future, but also to see how Fultz’s status will impact Sixers teammate T.J. McConnell, according to Marks. McConnell is headed for unrestricted free agency and is unlikely to get an in-season extension if Philadelphia intends to maximize its 2019 cap room. McConnell could command a salary in the $5-7MM range, Marks notes.
  • Teams around the NBA believe there could be a strong group of buyout candidates available later this season. According to Marks, the veteran players that clubs are keeping an eye on include Carmelo Anthony, Robin Lopez, Zach Randolph, Anthony Tolliver, Enes Kanter, Kenneth Faried, Jerryd Bayless, Iman Shumpert, Kosta Koufos, Alec Burks, J.R. Smith, and Jabari Parker. Some of those vets may be traded and some figure to remain with their current teams, but I could definitely see several of them ending up on the buyout market.

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Butler, Embiid, Fultz

The Nets made news last week when they agreed to a contract extension with point guard Spencer Dinwiddie. The three-year deal totals $34MM+ and includes a player option on the final year, which would allow Dinwiddie to re-enter the free agency market at age 28 to secure another contract.

The decision to give Dinwiddie the extension might have appeared simple on the surface, but Michael Scotto of The Athletic analyzes how it may impact the decisions the Nets have to make on upcoming restricted free agents D’Angelo Russell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Russell will very likely be looking for more money on his next contract, while the Nets also have 2019 free agency aspirations as they look to make the next step and become a playoff team. For now, they have locked up a quality point guard for the foreseeable future on a very reasonable contract as they look to navigate the waters without Caris LeVert moving forward this season.

There’s more from the Atlantic division:

  • In his running column on the Sixers for The Athletic, Derek Bodner explored the fit between Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid, especially in light of the comments Embiid made about the questionable fit and role he has had since the trade.
  • The Sixers have struggled recently as a result of Butler’s injury, which, as Tim Bontemps writes for ESPN, exposes the team’s lack of depth on a nightly basis. Bontemps also discusses the notion that subsequent roster moves that would help solve the 76ers’ depth issues moving forward.
  • According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Ben Uzoh, a former point guard that also dealt with thoracic outlet syndrome during his playing career, has reached out to Markelle Fultz to provide him with advice on how to navigate the diagnosis and properly recover as the Sixers‘ young point guard looks to get his career back on track.

Nets Notes: Graham, Russell, Kurucs, Marks

Forgotten Nets guard Treveon Graham is close to returning after missing the last two months of action, Peter Botte of the New York Post writes. 

Graham, 25, has watched 28 straight games from afar as he rehabs from a hamstring injury. He was assigned to the Long Island Nets on Saturday, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, and practiced with the team to continue working toward a return.

“He’s practiced a little bit, but that one I don’t want to put a date on it yet,” coach Kenny Atkinson said, according to Botte. “That’s obviously good news, that he’s starting to participate in practice and in some game activities. But no timetable for him. We love him and we miss him and I think he brings a defensive piece that I think really can help us. I think he’s gonna be a good player for us.”

Graham signed a free-agent contract to join the Nets this past July, coming off a season where he played 63 games with the Hornets. He scored 4.3 points per game on 43% shooting from the floor and 41% from 3-point range last year, with the VCU product currently in his third NBA season.

There’s more out of Brooklyn today:

  • Billy Reinhardt of NetsDaily ponders whether there’s any room left for D’Angelo Russell after the Nets agreed to a contract extension with Spencer Dinwiddie. Russell has started in all 30 games this season, but Dinwiddie’s stellar play off the bench has earned him early praise for a larger role.
  • Rodions Kurucs may have played his way into the Nets’ rotation after a strong game against the Wizards on Friday, Botte writes in a different story for the New York Post. Kurucs scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in his first career start, earning some respect in the process. “The big question is can you do this long term, as the league gets to know him better?” Atkinson said of Kurucs. “This is a small pocket of games, but my experience says I believe this will be a season-long thing where he’s getting minutes now.”
  • General manager Sean Marks explained his decision to ink Dinwiddie on a multi-year extension last week, as relayed by Bryan Fonseca and Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily. “You want to reward a guy who has bought in entirely,” Marks said. “Go back three years when we first signed him. I think Spencer has showed terrific ability to improve, to develop, to be part of this culture and it’s deserving of him right now.”

Nets Sign Spencer Dinwiddie To Three-Year Extension

DECEMBER 14: The Nets have officially signed Dinwiddie to his new extension, according to a press release from the team.

DECEMBER 13: The Nets have reached a contract extension with Spencer Dinwiddie, the team announced on social media today. The deal is a three-year, $34MM agreement and contains a player option in the third season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Dinwiddie was eligible to receive a four-year extension in the range of $47MM, but opted to sign a shorter deal to reach free agency sooner, Wojnarowski adds.

Dinwiddie can decline his player option to test free agency in 2021. He’ll make approximately $10.6MM next season, $11.4MM in the 2020/2021 season and $12.3MM during the 2021/22 season, according to Wojnarowski.

That $10.6MM starting salary is equivalent to 120% of the NBA’s estimated average salary for this season, and is the maximum amount Dinwiddie could have received on an extension.

“The journey is just beginning. I’m thankful that the Brooklyn Nets believe in me enough to give me a home,” Dinwiddie wrote on social media.

Dinwiddie scored a career-high 39 points off the Nets’ bench in a win over the Sixers Wednesday, adding to his successful week with the team. He’s averaged 16.9 points, 4.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 29 games this season.

His new deal with the Nets will cut into their cap space for free agency next summer, greatly reducing their chances at opening two maximum-salary roster spots. Brooklyn originally signed Dinwiddie to a free-agent contract in 2016 after he spent two years in the G League. He was a finalist for the Most Improved Player award last season, and could be in consideration for Sixth Man of the Year this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nets Notes: Dinwiddie, Davis, RHJ, Carroll

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie became eligible for an extension on Saturday but there doesn’t seem to be much progress between the two parties. Dinwiddie’s agent, Raymond Brothers, indicated that to the New York Post’s Brian Lewis. “No news. Nothing to report,” Brothers said.

Dinwiddie can receive as much as $47.5MM on a four-year extension and has said he’d be willing to sign for that amount. Several NBA sources told Lewis that Dinwiddie could get more as an unrestricted free agent next summer. Dinwiddie is currently making just $1.65MM this season, a huge bargain for a productive rotation player. He scored a career-high 39 points on Wednesday.

We have more on the Nets:

  • Big man Ed Davis knows changes could be on the horizon if the team doesn’t start winning games in bunches soon, as he told Michael Scotto of The Athletic. “It’s not just a coaching job that can change, they start trading people. It gets crazy when you lose and how you’re losing,” Davis said. Dinwiddie is also aware that the pressure is building on the current roster to start producing. “I’d venture to guess that if we continued to lose trades would happen, as they should. That’s (GM) Sean (Marks’) job,” he said.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson‘s return to the lineup has helped the Nets crack down defensively, Lewis writes in a separate story. Wins over the Raptors and Knicks this past weekend were facilitated by Hollis-Jefferson’s versatility. He recently returned from an adductor injury. “He can guard a 2, a 3, a 4, a 1. Its just huge for us. And he wants that responsibility. He’s embracing it more now that he’s feeling better physically,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. Hollis-Jefferson will be a restricted free agent in the summer if the team extends a $3,594,369 qualifying offer.
  • DeMarre Carroll has struggled since returning from ankle surgery last month but Atkinson will remain patient with him, Lewis details in another story. The small forward becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. “It’s a little bit him, it’s a little bit me trying to get that confidence back in him that he’s fully healthy and can contribute,” Atkinson said. “He’s not near where he was last year, that’s my estimation. But DeMarre’s DeMarre: That guy’s the ultimate professional, great team guy. We have an understanding where he is.”

Spencer Dinwiddie Set To Become Extension-Eligible

Spencer Dinwiddie first signed with the Nets on December 8, 2016. That means Diwiddie will become eligible for a contract extension on Saturday, the two-year anniversary of his initial signing. And that fact hasn’t been lost on him. As Michael Scotto of The Athletic noted last week (via Twitter), Dinwiddie recently issued a lengthy statement to reporters about his contract situation.

[RELATED: Players eligible for veteran contract extensions]

“I’d love to have an extension. I’d love to be here for a long time,” Dinwiddie said. “If I don’t get an extension, I’ll be looking forward to unrestricted free agency and going through the season trying to help the Nets win games as much as possible. Either I’m going to sign an extension or I’m going to be an unrestricted free agent, simple as that. The ball is very much in [GM] Sean Marks and the Nets’ court.

“Everybody knows what my extension number is: Four [years] for $47.5MM,” Dinwiddie continued. “It is well documented. You can’t go above. It’s not like I’m really looking to go below. It is what it is. I’ll find out when you guys find out. We’ll either see something on the ESPN ticker that says ‘Spencer Dinwiddie offered $47.5MM from the Brooklyn Nets,’ and then you guys will know how much money my bank account has at that moment in time.”

As Dinwiddie suggests, contract extensions for players on modest deals like his are limited to a starting salary worth up to 120% of the NBA’s estimated average salary. Based on this season’s numbers, that means that a Dinwiddie extension would start at $10.61MM and would be worth $47.51MM over four years.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently said that the Nets have a number in mind for Dinwiddie, which makes it sound as if the club doesn’t plan on putting that maximum amount on the table. But based on the point guard’s candid comments, it sure sounds like he doesn’t have much interest in an extension that pays him less than that full amount ($47.5MM over four years).

Sources told Brian Lewis of The New York Post last week that the 25-year-old, who is in the midst of a career year, could likely command more than that in free agency, so his stance makes sense.

Could Dinwiddie’s asking price come down? Could the Nets relent and offer the full $47.5MM? Anything is possible, but there’s one big reason not to expect the two sides to come to terms on an in-season extension.

The Nets project to have a significant amount of cap room next summer, and extending Dinwiddie would cut into that space substantially. His cap hold as a free agent will only be about $1.6MM, which means Brooklyn could keep that hold on its books, hanging onto Dinwiddie’s Bird rights, then go over the cap to re-sign him after using the rest of its space on other players. That’s exactly what the team did this past offseason with Joe Harris, who was in a similar position. Extending Dinwiddie during the season would increase his projected cap hit from $1.6MM to $10.61MM, cutting into the Nets’ flexibility.

On the other hand, if the Nets don’t make an effort to extend Dinwiddie during the season, it might increase his interest in exploring the market when he becomes a free agent. And since he’ll be unrestricted, Brooklyn wouldn’t necessarily be able to keep him in July.

Plus, even if they were to extend Dinwiddie at the price he wants, the Nets could still create $50MM+ in cap room next summer, and would avoid heading into the offseason with uncertainty surrounding both Dinwiddie and RFA-to-be D’Angelo Russell. Maybe it’d be worth it for the Nets to lock in Dinwiddie at a reasonable rate if they don’t believe they’d have a realistic chance at two max free agents on the open market anyway.

There are no simple or easy answers for the Nets with Dinwiddie, so it will be a situation worth watching starting on December 8.

Woj: Nets Have Price In Mind For Spencer Dinwiddie

The Nets would “very much like to keep” guard Spencer Dinwiddie, but only at the right price, ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski said today in an interview with Fordham’s student radio station (hat tip to NetsDaily).

Wojnarowski wouldn’t speculate on how much Brooklyn’s front office is willing to give Dinwiddie, but it’s obviously less than the four-year, $47.5MM extension he’s eligible to receive starting next Saturday. The Nets have until the end of June to  finalize an extension with Dinwiddie, who is currently making the league minimum. He will become a free agent July 1 if no deal is in place by then.

“I think the Nets would very much like to keep him and keep him long term but again, it’s negotiation,” Wojnarowski said. “It will be at a number — I don’t know what the number is for Brooklyn — but I’m sure they have in their minds a sense of what they’re willing to do and then how does that measure up to what the other options are, what it does to their cap space, what they want to do with D’Angelo Russell.”

Dinwiddie is having a career year in a reserve role, averaging 15.9 PPG and shooting 37% from 3-point range. Wojnarowski believes there will be a strong market for Dinwiddie if he reaches free agency and predicts the Nets will try to re-sign him if they can’t come to terms on an extension.

Wojnarowski touched on a few other topics in the interview, saying:

  • The Nets are unlikely to trade for an “established player” this season. Management seems content to keep the current core in place and try to make additions through free agency.
  • The Knicks seem like a long shot to land Kevin Durant because they don’t have a strong foundation already in place. He noted that elite free agents have historically gone to teams that are already equipped to contend for a title.
  • The Wizards would demand a high price if they elect to trade Bradley Beal. However, they may have to take on a long-term contract to unload the $81MM they still owe to Otto Porter.
  • Nothing is expected to happen with Sixers guard Markelle Fultz until “more clarity” is obtained on his physical condition.

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Knicks, Hollis-Jefferson, Sixers

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie will be eligible to sign a contract extension with the team on December 8, and the 25-year-old took time Thursday to address the situation with reporters. Dinwiddie, in his third season with the team, assured he would love to stay long-term.

“I would love to have an extension,” Dinwiddie said, according to The Athletic’s Michael Scotto. “I would love to be here for a long time. If I don’t get an extension, then I’ll be looking forward to unrestricted free agency and going through the season and trying to help the Nets win games as much as possible.”

Dinwiddie’s “official statement” came as part of a larger quote posted by Scotto, with Dinwiddie acknowledging that the decision is largely in general manager Sean Marks‘ hands.

“The ball is very much in Sean Marks’ and the Nets’ court,” Dinwiddie said. “Everybody knows my extension number is four (years) for $47.5 million.”

The Nets are projected to have $50-70MM in cap space next summer, and it remains to be seen whether the team is interested in keeping Dinwiddie long-term and cutting into the space. He’s averaged 16 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 22 games off the bench this season, shooting 48% from the floor and 38% from downtown.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • The Knicks have to make a roster cut in the next couple of weeks, with Allonzo Trier‘s 45-day limit on a two-way deal set to end around December 15, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Ron Baker and Luke Kornet are two possible candidates to be waived. Trier has averaged 11.8 points per contest in 23 games this season, shooting 49% from the field.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has been given the starting nod at power forward this week, leaving some to wonder if the change will become permanent again, writes Tim Dowd of Nets.com. The Nets enjoy using Hollis-Jefferson’s defensive capabilities against players at each position, primarily at the four spot. “We can put him on a point guard, we can put him on a four, we can put him on a five,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “It’s just a huge advantage, his defensive versatility.”
  • The Sixers‘ next moves are even more important now that they’ve acquired a third All-Star in Jimmy Butler, Derek Bodner of The Athletic writes. Philadelphia must convince Butler that this should be his long-term home before he reaches free agency in July, and the team could package Markelle Fultz in a trade for talent that can help the club compete now.