Spencer Dinwiddie has transformed into a fan favorite and one of this season’s feel-good stories. Should the Brooklyn Nets sell-high on him before the trade deadline?
We all knew back in October. By the dawn of 2018, the name on lips of every basketball fan from San Francisco to Shanghai would be Spencer Dinwiddie.
I’m being hyperbolic, of course, but Dinwiddie’s unlikely success remains one of the most compelling stories of the season. Drafted by Detroit in 2014, Dinwiddie had trouble finding his footing in the NBA. The Piston’s cluttered backcourt limited opportunities during his rookie and sophomore campaigns. Dinwiddie seemed to log more time in the D-League (as it was known then) than with the Pistons.
Traded by the Pistons in the summer of 2016 (before being waived twice by the Chicago Bulls), Dinwiddie arrived with the Brooklyn Nets in December of 2016. Starved for talent and picks after their disastrous deal with resident NBA trade-shyster Danny Ainge, the Nets were willing to roll the dice on just about anybody with upside.
Dinwiddie was worth the roll. The point guard has upped his per-game averages to 13.5 points and 6.5 assists per game. He currently sits at 18th in ESPN’s offensive real plus-minus (ORPM), and is a massive reason why the friskier-than-expected Nets are 22nd in the league instead of in the bowels where many expected.
Still, the team is bereft of assets. Swinging for high-upside talents who’ve struggled to make their mark elsewhere is the best route back to competitiveness. This strategy was the impetus behind the team acquiring D’Angelo Russell and Allen Crabbe (and at least part of the rationale of taking on Jahlil Okafor).