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It takes a lot to strike the loquacious Spencer Dinwiddie speechless, but even he was caught off-guard by reports that he wanted out of Brooklyn. He laughed them off, calling the idea dumb – and saying the fact he took less to remain a Net proves just how silly it is.
“That’s funny. That’s a fair question, I guess. Once again, all the reports, I don’t know anybody that take less than market value to stay on a team that wants to be traded,” Dinwiddie said Friday via Zoom. “That would be bad for business right? That would kind of be really dumb.”
People can call Dinwiddie many things, but dumb isn’t one. Not the guy with the 1,400 SAT that got recruited by Harvard.
Though Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen have all had their names tossed into offseason trade rumors, it’s the former’s ability to opt-out after this season that has him viewed by many as the most likely to be moved.
But Dinwiddie cites the hometown discount he gave Brooklyn on the three-year, $34 million extension he signed Dec. 2018 as evidence he’s happy with the Nets and whatever role they put him in. If that’s averaging career-highs of 20.6 points and seven assists before his last season was cut short by COVID-19, so be it. If it’s playing a Draymond Green-style stopper this coming year, fine.
“My role is my role,” Dinwiddie shrugged. “You try to do the best you can in every situation that you’re in.
“Last year, it turned into 20-7. This year, whether it’s sixth man, seventh man, Draymond, whatever you want to call it – we win a championship, that’s good for business. Taking something less than market value to be somewhere you don’t want to be? Bad for business. So we’re trying to make every move, good for business. That’s what we want to do.”
Of course, the Nets will do the same. GM Sean Marks has had to make tough decisions before in building the Nets into a contender, and he’s liable to make more. He’s told his players as much.
“Spencer and I have an open relationship. He can come and talk to me about whatever he wants,” Marks said after the NBA Draft when asked if he’d discussed the trade rumors with Dinwiddie. “That’s part of the business when you have to navigate a roster and personalities.”
Those conversations might take a different tone with Dinwiddie than your average player. He’s representing himself after parting ways with his agent, although he downplayed that oddity during the season and said he’s not in contact with any other interested teams.
“That’s like tampering or something, isn’t it?” Dinwiddie said. “People don’t have my number like that. My number isn’t just floating around out there.
“My decisions are my own. I’m looking forward to anything that comes next. Remember, this year – the next 6, 8 months, however long this season lasts – there’s not really much to do on that front. It’s going to be much more interesting in the summer. That’s more a time for that conversation; right now it’s all about maximizing the 72 games and trying to win a championship with this group we’ve got.”
The return of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving puts Brooklyn in position to do so. Dinwiddie said both have looked back to their old selves, and the rest of the Nets must adjust to playing off the ball more to fit with two of the NBA’s best scorers.
“Just look at KD and Kyrie and they’re going to be ball-dominant; you’ve got to know that,” said Dinwiddie. “One’s the greatest scorer of all-time. You’ve got to really recognize that and get the ball where it needs to go. So you know everybody else needs to process and act accordingly, and then do what’s best to help the team win.”