The NBA Playoffs were hit with an unprecedented amount of injuries to star players, with the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets being among the teams hit hardest.
Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie weighed in on a reality where injuries did not play a factor in determining this year’s champion and thinks Brooklyn would have swept the Lakers in a potential Finals matchup.
Dinwiddie has spent the better part of the last five seasons with the Nets, transforming into a borderline All-Star talent. He was set to be a key piece for Brooklyn alongside Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, but suffered a partially torn ACL early in the season. He opted out of his $12.3 million player option this summer to become an unrestricted free agent, but still showed loyalty to the team with the tweet, doubling down in his response.
Dinwiddie Linked to Los Angeles
The interesting thing about the tweet is that Dinwiddie has been linked to the Lakers in free agency. The 28-year-old guard is from Los Angeles and his “preferred destination” is his hometown with either the Lakers or Clippers, per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
“Home is the preferred destination,” Winfield wrote. “But he wants to secure his financial future, too.”
Home for Dinwiddie is Los Angeles, where he spent the entire season rehabbing from his ACL tear at Phenom Sports Performance. If Dinwiddie were to join the Lakers or Clippers, it would have to be in a sign-and-trade. Even if Kawhi Leonard were to decline the player option on his contract and leave the Clippers in free agency, the team still would not have the cap space to sign Dinwiddie to a competitive contract.
Dinwiddie played in just three games with the Nets before injuring his ACL. He averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game his last full season in Brooklyn.
Dinwiddie Not Closing Door on Return to Nets
Dinwiddie spoke on his upcoming free agency with Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated and he revealed at least a starting point for his expected value. He also did not close the door on returning to the Nets — if the money is right.
“Now, for all the fans that think because I opted out I have to leave or something like that, no, this is very much in the Nets’ hands, you feel me?” Dinwiddie said on “The Crossover Pod.” “I think my full max is like five [years], 196 [million] or something like that. And nobody’s sitting here saying I’m going to get five, 196 — so before anybody tries to kill me, nobody’s saying that.
“But the Nets have the ability to do something that other people can’t. If they come to the table like that, and they’re being aggressive and are saying, ‘Hey we got five, 125 for you,’ I would say there’s a high likelihood that I go back to the Nets, you know what I mean? But if they don’t come to the table like that, and they’re like ‘Oh, we’re going to give you a three for 60,’ well, anybody can do that.”
The Lakers (+450) and Nets (+275) have the best title odds for next season, per BetOnline.
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