Spencer Dinwiddie is reportedly expected to decline his $12.3 million player option with the Brooklyn Nets and is set to become one of the top free-agent prospects this summer. Teams have been keen to lure him away from the Nets for a while now, and the NBA rumors surrounding him have started to heat up.
As per Shams Charania of The Atheltic, Spencer Dinwiddie has fully recovered from the partial ACL injury he suffered at the start of the 2021 NBA campaign and is now fully cleared for all basketball activities.
Spencer Dinwiddie is one of the best point guards in the league. He had a career-best season in the 2019-2020 campaign, averaging 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game. However, he suffered a partial ACL tear at the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, which saw him play just three games throughout the campaign.
Despite his season-ending injury, many teams have eyed the point guard, courtesy of his exploits in his career-best 2019-20 campaign. With the Nets looking likely to continue with their big three - Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving,and James Harden - 28-year-old Dinwiddie is likely to play elsewhere as he seeks a prominent role at this stage of his career.
With the point guard position being a priority for many playoff-contending teams next season, Spencer Dinwiddie is expected to have many suitors in the 2021 NBA free agency.
On that note, let's take a look at the top three teams that could benefit the most by acquiring Spencer Dinwiddie in the off-season.
#3 New York Knicks
The New York Knicks have been looking for a point guard in the market for quite some time now. They have been linked with the likes of Lonzo Ball, Dennis Schroder, Kyle Lowry and Damian Lillard. Ball and Schroder seem like realistic targets at the moment, but there is plenty of uncertainty over their futures with their current teams.
Meanwhile, Lowry would also be a great addition. However, he is 36 now, and with the Knicks likely to re-sign Derrick Rose, it wouldn't make much sense to have two 30+ players leading the backcourt rotation. Spencer Dinwiddie, meanwhile, is 28 and would be a great addition, considering his playmaking and scoring abilities.
The New York Knicks certainly need a player who can do both. They had to rely on veteran Rose to deliver the goods for them during the 2021 NBA playoffs, as their starting point guard Elfried Payton wasn't great offensively.
Spencer Dinwiddie isn't the best of defenders around, but his size and athleticism are something head coach Tom Thibodeau should take note of. If worked on, Thibodeau could help Dinwiddie become a solid all-round player as well.
#2 Miami Heat
The 2020 NBA Finals runner-ups, the Miami Heat, were the first team to be swept in the 2021 NBA playoffs. If there is any team that needs a point guard to bolster their backcourt the most, it has to be them. The Heat have been linked with Spencer Dinwiddie since the 2021 trade deadline.
However, with Dinwiddie sidelined, the Heat decided to acquire Victor Oladipo from the Houston Rockets instead. The move failed miserably, as Oladipo's tenure with the franchise was cut short due to a season-ending knee injury.
The Miami Heat struggled in the playoffs, as a result, and will also likely see their backcourt stars Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn depart in free agency this summer. They will need a solid starting-caliber point guard, and Spencer Dinwiddie could be the answer to their needs.
The Heat are looking to add a player who could take some of the offensive burden off talisman Jimmy Butler, who has been their best playmaker and scorer in the last two seasons. Spencer Dinwiddie would be a great fit in that respect. According to Evan Massey of NBA Analysis Network, the Miami Heat are among several teams interested in signing the point guard.
#1 Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly looking to acquire a ball-handler to play alongside Luka Doncic. Spencer Dinwiddie could be an intriguing target for them in that regard. That's because he could share playmaking and scoring responsibilities with Doncic and give the team some much-needed offensive depth.
The Mavericks have the option to re-sign Tim Hardaway Jr., who was terrific towards the end of the 2020-21 NBA campaign. However, he is largely a one-dimensional player and is only effective as a scorer. If Dinwiddie's 2019-20 NBA season is anything to go by, he would be a much better option than Hardaway Jr.
Luka Doncic struggled to single-handedly carry the team over the line against the mighty LA Clippers in the 2021 NBA playoffs. If there was a star like Dinwiddie, who could produce the numbers at high efficiency, the Mavericks would have had a great chance of making it to the next round.