Spencer Dinwiddie

Latest On James Harden, Rockets, Nets

While a pair of former All-Stars – Chris Paul and Jrue Holiday – were involved in trades agreed upon on Monday, another All-Star guard briefly stole NBA headlines. Word broke that Rockets superstar James Harden had turned down an extension offer that would have tacked on two years and a staggering $103MM to the three years left on his current deal. Harden is said to be “singularly focused” on being dealt to the Nets, per Monday’s reports.

According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, Harden has indicated to the Rockets that he’s not interested in going anywhere except Brooklyn and that he believes the team should make the best deal it can with the Nets, “even if they do not consider it satisfactory.” That’s a bold demand for a player with at least two years left on his contract — even a player of Harden’s caliber.

As Adrian Wojnarowski reiterated this morning during an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up (video link), the Rockets aren’t yet acting with urgency and feel like they can afford to take their time, given Harden’s contract situation. While the Rockets have been in contact with the Nets, no substantive discussions have taken place between the two teams yet, Woj adds.

Houston also hasn’t engaged with any other teams about Harden, since he appears to be solely interested in Brooklyn and the Rockets don’t want to move him to begin with, says Feigen.

Here’s more on the former MVP:

  • Although the Nets have several intriguing assets, they don’t have one “knockout” piece – such as a young player with superstar potential or a future pick that would land at or near the top of the draft – to entice the Rockets, Wojnarowski notes. Feigen makes a similar point, suggesting that Brooklyn’s inability to offer a player who could be Harden’s “successor” has Houston resisting the idea of making a trade with the Nets.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe takes a deep dive into the possibility of a trade between the Nets and Rockets and contends that a Brooklyn offer for Harden would probably have to look something like this: Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, some small salary filler, this year’s No. 19 pick, two unprotected or lightly-protected future first-rounders, and two future pick swaps.
  • As of Monday, the Rockets didn’t consider their relationship with Harden broken, according to Feigen, who said talks between the two sides have been “cordial.” The team just hasn’t yet been able to convince him to reconsider his position.
  • The Rockets’ other former MVP, Russell Westbrook, remains a trade candidate as well, but nothing is close on that front. As Feigen explains, Houston hasn’t yet been able to find a deal for Westbrook that would bring a strong enough return to help convince Harden that the team can still contend for a title.
  • The fact that the Rockets surrendered multiple draft picks and pick swaps in last year’s Westbrook acquisition has made the team hesitant to embark upon a rebuild, per Feigen. Houston also still believes it can be a factor in the Western Conference race if both Harden and Westbrook return and the right additions are made.

Mavericks Eyeing Oladipo, Dinwiddie, LaVine

The Mavericks are seeking a secondary play-maker to complement Luka Doncic, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who says Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, and Bulls guard Zach LaVine are among Dallas’ potential trade targets.

The Mavs don’t project to have any cap room until 2021, but rather than sitting back and waiting a year to try to make a splash, the team is expected to be active in trade talks this month as it pursues another impact player. As a report last month indicated, the franchise doesn’t want to waste any time upgrading its roster around Doncic, who already looks like a perennial MVP candidate.

Oladipo, who is entering a contract year, has reportedly agitated some Pacers teammates and may not have a long-term future in Indiana, making him a potential target for Dallas. Typically, a 28-year-old who has made multiple All-Star teams would require a significant return, but Oladipo didn’t look like his old self last season after returning from his torn quad tendon. If the Mavs are willing to roll the dice on his health, like they did in 2019 with Kristaps Porzingis, the price might be a little lower than usual.

As for Dinwiddie, we heard earlier this week that multiple contending teams in the Western Conference had engaged in internal discussions about pursuing the Brooklyn guard. It’s safe to say the Mavs were one of those clubs, though it remains to be seen if the Nets will consider moving Dinwiddie. He may have his role reduced in 2020/21 with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back in the lineup, but he’s also an important insurance policy in Brooklyn, given Irving’s and Caris LeVert‘s injury histories.

Meanwhile, we noted earlier today that the Mavs were among the teams that have contacted the Bulls recently to inquire on LaVine’s availability. Unless Chicago drafts a potential franchise guard such as LaMelo Ball next Wednesday, I’d be a bit surprised to see the team place LaVine on the trade block. Still, we don’t yet have a clear idea of which players new Bulls president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas is most attached to.

Oladipo, Dinwiddie, and LaVine will have respective cap hits of $21MM, $11.5MM, and $19.5MM in 2020/21, so it wouldn’t be too difficult for the Mavs to match salaries in any trade, either using Tim Hardaway‘s $19MM expiring deal or a smaller contract or two. Dallas also has this year’s Nos. 18 and 31 picks available to dangle in a trade offer.

Multiple Western Teams Mull Pursuit Of Spencer Dinwiddie

Multiple contending teams in the Western Conference have had internal discussions in which they expressed interest in trading for Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

Presumably, Dinwiddie could be had as part of a package if a club is willing to send a star player to Brooklyn. However, it’s unclear whether the Nets would seriously consider moving the veteran guard in a smaller trade this fall, Begley writes. A contending team with interest in Dinwiddie is unlikely to want to give up an impact player of its own in any deal.

As NetsDaily notes (via Twitter), ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said in a recent podcast that there’s an expectation around the NBA that Dinwiddie may be available in the right offseason deal, but Windhorst sounded unconvinced that the Nets will actively shop the 27-year-old.

Dinwiddie is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 20.6 PPG and 6.8 APG in 64 games (31.2 MPG). There will be fewer touches to go around in 2020/21, with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back in the lineup and Caris LeVert still in the mix. Still, Dinwiddie could be an important insurance policy in the backcourt, given Irving’s and LeVert’s injury histories.

Dinwiddie’s contract situation is worth keeping an eye on too. He’s entering a potential contract year – he holds a player option for 2021/22 – and it remains to be seen whether the Nets will be willing to sign him to a lucrative new contract a year from now — the team projects to be in the tax, assuming Joe Harris gets a new deal this offseason. If Dinwiddie isn’t assured of a long-term role in Brooklyn, a trade becomes a more realistic possibility.

While Begley’s report doesn’t identify the Western teams that have discussed Dinwiddie, there are at least a couple clubs that would make sense as potential suitors. The Clippers are one, as they’re known to be in the market for a play-making point guard. The Lakers would also make sense, particularly if they lose Rajon Rondo in free agency.

Spencer Dinwiddie Leaves Roc Nation, Considering Self-Representation

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has parted ways with Roc Nation Sports and is seriously considering the possibility of representing himself, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Dinwiddie became a Roc Nation client about a year ago after his representative, Raymond Brothers, joined the agency. He hasn’t signed a new contract since December 2018, when he inked a three-year extension that locks him up through at least the 2020/21 season — he has a $12.3MM player option for ’21/22, so he can reach the open market next year at age 28.

Dinwiddie, who has been with the Nets since 2016, enjoyed perhaps his best season in 2019/20, establishing new career highs in PPG (20.6), APG (6.8), and RPG (3.5), among other categories. Those numbers figure to slip a little with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back in Brooklyn’s lineup, but Dinwiddie has established himself as a reliable scorer and play-maker and should do well on his next deal.

If Dinwiddie elects to negotiate his next contract on his own, it will be interesting to see what it ends up looking like. The point guard has exhibited a willingness to get creative with his financial portfolio, having made an effort last year to turn his NBA contract into a digital investment vehicle. When he eventually launched his investment bond in January, the league prevented him from tying it directly to his contract.

Eastern Notes: Dinwiddie, Anthony, K. Porter, Beal

With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving returning to action next season, Spencer Dinwiddie sees himself in a Draymond Green-style role with the Nets. The combo guard made that comment on ESPN’s The Jump (hat tip to NetsDaily.com).

“Obviously, we don’t know who’s going to start, who’s coming off the bench, That’s with KD and Kyrie excluded, of course,” he said. “But really with all of this being formed, I view myself if we’re going with the Golden State model as the Draymond Green, the glue. Sometimes, I get 10 boards, sometimes, I get 10 assists. Sometimes, I score a little bit more because obviously, we have a super dynamic point guard. We also have the greatest scorer of all-time.”

Dinwiddie will make approximately $11.5MM next season and holds a $12.3MM option on his 2021/22 contract.

We have more from the around the Eastern Conference:

  • Carmelo Anthony is working out in New York City and it’s not far-fetched to think the free agent forward will sign up for a second stint with the Knicks, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The possibility of Anthony coming back to New York would increase if it trades for Chris Paul, Berman continues. Knicks president Leon Rose, Anthony’s former rep, is open to an Anthony reunion even without a Paul deal, Berman adds.
  • Cavaliers second-year swingman Kevin Porter Jr. posted a troubling message on social media, but he’s fine, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Porter raised concerns with a since-deleted message of “You ever wish to see the end of your time?” However, a source told Fedor that Porter was OK and has been warned by the front office about posting similar messages in the future.
  • Bradley Beal is coveted by many teams but he wouldn’t mind finishing his career with the Wizards, Frank Urbina of HoopsHype relays. Beal made that statement on the “On the Road with Buck & Phil” podcast. “That would mean the world, man. I’m a loyal guy. I want to be here,” he said. “I’m here. I’ve signed my extension. And that will mean the world to me. That honestly would you know, being able to finish your career in one place? You know, you don’t see that in today’s game.”

Eastern Notes: Monk, Heat, Kanter, Dinwiddie

Hornets guard Malik Monk is seeking to regain the trust of his teammates after being suspended for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy in February, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes.

Monk, who missed eight games due to the suspension and lost roughly $200K in salary, claims he’s in a better physical and emotional state now.

“I did it. I took my consequences for it,” Monk said of his suspension. “I think I’m making up for it right now. … I’m in a great place with my mind and my body. The responsibility now is even bigger for me to stay like this, instead of swerving off a little bit.”

Monk, the No. 11 pick of the 2017 draft, averaged 10.3 points and 2.1 assists in 21.3 minutes per game this season. He shot a career-high from the field (43.4%), though it was coupled with a career-low shooting mark from three-point territory (28.4%). Monk is entering the final year of his rookie contract, making him eligible for free agency in 2021.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • The Heat are utilizing veteran experience from Udonis Haslem and Andre Iguodala as they seek to reach their first NBA Finals since 2014, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes. Haslem and Iguodala are the only Heat players to ever play in the Finals — both players are three-time NBA champions (Haslem with Miami in 2006, 2012, and 2013; Iguodala with Golden State in 2015, 2017 and 2018).
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Boston explores how Enes Kanter saved the Celtics’ season with his energetic play in the first half of Game 5. Kanter recorded eight points, four rebounds, and two assists in just over nine minutes, providing a spark to keep Boston within reach entering halftime. “[Kanter] kind of kept us at bay,” head coach Brad Stevens said. “We were struggling, they hit some really tough shots. [Duncan] Robinson was going nuts, and Kanter’s points in the paint, I thought, really helped. And kind of helped steady us and give us a chance at halftime, only being down 7.”
  • Billy Reinhardt of NetsDaily examines whether the Nets’ offseason plans hinge on the fate of Spencer Dinwiddie, who could be traded in a package for a third star or kept as the lead ball-handler off the bench next season. Dinwiddie stepped up his play this season and has stated his willingness to surrender offensive opportunities for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, averaging a career-high 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game on the season.

Atlantic Notes: Dinwiddie, Nash, Raptors, Tatum, Sixers

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie is confident that Steve Nash will succeed as the new head coach of the franchise, he told Shlomo Sprung of Forbes.com.

Dinwiddie discussed a variety of subjects in the interview, including Nash, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and more. Brooklyn announced the hiring of Nash last week with no prior media coverage of the possibility, surprising observers around the league.

“It was definitely out of left field,” Dinwiddie said. “I think overall, it makes sense from the relationship perspective.”

Nash shares a close relationship with Durant, having worked for the Warriors as a player development consultant during his run with the team. Brooklyn consulted Durant, Irving and others before hiring Nash, a decision that received positive reviews from those in the franchise.

“Obviously white privilege is a thing, 1000%,” Dinwiddie said. “But in this situation, he’s only one of the most qualified basketball players of all time and is friends with the stars of our team and the GM of the team [former teammate Sean Marks]. It kind of makes sense beyond the fact that he doesn’t have coaching experience.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic examines six takeaways from the Raptors‘ seven-game series loss to the Celtics. Toronto was 0.5 seconds away from going down 3-0 before OG Anunoby‘s buzzer-beating shot in Game 3, climbing back to force the hard-fought series to seven games. The Raptors have several key players set to reach free agency this offseason, including Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol.
  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum passed his latest test to superstardom in leading the team over Toronto, Jared Weiss of The Athletic writes. Tatum has steadily improved on both ends since entering the league, recording 29 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in the team’s Game 7 victory. “He’s a superstar. He showed it tonight,” teammate Kemba Walker said after that game. “Anyone have any question or doubt on that? He showed it.”
  • Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue remains the best option for the Sixers as they search for a new head coach, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Lue and the Sixers both share a mutual interest for the position, according to Pompey, which was vacated when the team fired Brett Brown after a disappointing 2019/20 season.

Nets Will Consult Numerous Players in Coaching Search

The Nets plan to get input from several players as they look for their next head coach, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. As expected, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will be consulted during the process, but sources tell Lewis that general manager Sean Marks plans to talk with DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie and possibly Caris LeVert as well.

“Yeah, I would say it would totally be not incredibly smart of us if we did not involve some of these key players in this decision. And that not only goes for Kevin,” Marks said. “Kevin, Kyrie; we’re going to pick their brains on what they’re looking for in a leader, what they want in a coach, what they need. The guys have been brutally honest so far.”

The additions of Durant and Irving in free agency last summer make the Brooklyn job one of the most attractive in the league. Kenny Atkinson appeared to be the coach of the future, but his surprising dismissal in March created an opening amid rumors that the two stars weren’t enamored with Atkinson’s style of play.

Jacque Vaughn was successful in an interim role, leading the Nets to two wins before the hiatus, followed by a 5-3 record in reseeding games even though half the roster wasn’t available. Vaughn has been promised consideration as the team looks for a permanent coach, and he has the advantage of working with Marks on three separate occasions in the past decade. However, he may be overshadowed by some bigger names on the market.

Vaughn and Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue are viewed as the early favorites for the job, Lewis notes, as Irving has interest in reuniting with his former coach in Cleveland. Joe Harris was also a Cavalier under Lue and called him “an excellent coach.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who served as a mentor to Marks in San Antonio, has been mentioned as a possibility, along with Jason Kidd, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Ime Udoka. Durant and his representatives reportedly have an interest in Jackson, Lewis adds.

Nets Notes: Harris, Crawford, Durant, Dinwiddie

The Nets will have plenty of key decisions to make this fall, including who will become their permanent head coach and whether they should package some of their talent in an effort to trade for another impact player. However, GM Sean Marks isn’t underestimating the importance of re-signing veteran sharpshooter Joe Harris.

“Priority No. 1,” Marks said of locking up Harris, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “It’s that simple, yeah. … Signing him and seeing him with this group will certainly be a priority for us.”

Harris, who signed a two-year, $16MM contract with Brooklyn in 2018, figures to be in line for a raise this offseason and it could be a substantial one. He has become one of the NBA’s most consistent outside shooters, knocking down 44.8% of his three-point attempts over the last two seasons, and will be one of the top UFAs in a somewhat weak market.

The Nets already have about $133MM in guaranteed money on their books for next season, per Basketball Insiders, which will almost certainly make them a taxpayer. They’ll have to weigh how much more they’re willing to pay to retain Harris.

Here’s more on Brooklyn:

  • The Nets have been so impressed by Jamal Crawford‘s leadership skills this summer – as well as the offensive ability he has shown in limited practices – that they’re seriously considering adding him to their roster for the 2020/21 season, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
  • Kevin Durant (Achilles rehab) and Spencer Dinwiddie (contracted COVID-19 in June) aren’t participating in the restart this summer, but they’re among the Nets players working out and playing pickup ball in Los Angeles. Chris Milholen of NetsDaily has the details and the video.
  • If the Nets go star-hunting this offseason, Caris LeVert is one player whose name could come up in trade rumors. However, LeVert has shown with his play this summer that he may be capable of complementing Durant and Kyrie Irving himself. After scoring 37 points on Thursday, LeVert earned praise from Damian Lillard and was referred to as “the best kept secret in the NBA” by Crawford (via Twitter).

Nets To Hold Spencer Dinwiddie Out Of Restart

Nets team doctors have decided to have Spencer Dinwiddie sit out of the NBA’s restart, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The decision is being made out of an “abundance of caution,” Charania adds, as Dinwiddie recently tested positive for the coronavirus. The Brooklyn guard has confirmed the news in a tweet.

“After another positive test yesterday and considering the symptoms, @BrooklynNets, team doctors and I have decided that it would be in the best interest for me and the team that I do not play in Orlando,” Dinwiddie wrote. “I will be supporting the guys every step of the way!”

Word broke on June 29 that Dinwiddie has been diagnosed with COVID-19. On Sunday night, he said that the sinus pressure headaches he had been getting were “starting to subside,” expressing hope that he could receive medical clearance this week and travel to Orlando with the Nets. However, he admitted that he felt a bit dizzy and weak when using an exercise bike and still hadn’t received the two negative tests he required as part of the NBA’s protocol.

Even if Dinwiddie receives medical clearance in a few days, he’d have to travel to the Walt Disney World bubble separately from his team, which would mean being subjected to a more rigorous quarantine and testing period before being cleared to practice. He’d then have an even shorter ramp-up period than his teammates before seeding games begin on July 30, and may still be dealing with the after-effects of the virus.

As such, it makes sense that the Nets are holding out Dinwiddie, though it creates yet another hole in a roster that has been decimated by injuries, positive coronavirus tests, and opt-outs. Superstars Kevin Durant (Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (shoulder) won’t participate. Nicolas Claxton (shoulder) is also injured, while Wilson Chandler has decided to sit out for family reasons and DeAndre Jordan opted out after contracting COVID-19.

The Nets, who currently hold the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, may have a hard time holding off the Magic, who are just a half-game behind Brooklyn in the standings. However, the Nets remain in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot, since they have a six-game lead on the Wizards, who have been hit hard by injuries and opt-outs of their own — the club will be without All-Star guards Bradley Beal and John Wall in addition to sharpshooter Davis Bertans.

Brooklyn has reportedly agreed to a deal with Justin Anderson to replace Chandler. Players who test positive for the coronavirus are also eligible to be replaced by substitute players, so the club will be able to sign replacements for both Dinwiddie and Jordan. Any player who is replaced by a substitute player will be ineligible to return this season.

Because Dinwiddie’s absence is related to a positive COVID-19 test, he won’t have to forfeit his remaining salary for the 2019/20 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.