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Spencer Dinwiddie came to the rescue of the Brooklyn Nets last season after D’Angelo Russell went down for the year with a knee injury.
Dinwiddie assumed the role as the Nets’ point guard and starting 58 of the 80 games in which he played for Brooklyn, he averaged career-highs of 12.6 points, 3.2 boards and 6.6 dimes, shooting 38.7 percent from the floor, 32.6 percent from deep and 81.3 percent from the free-throw line in 28.8 minutes for the Nets.
Entering the final season of a contract that calls for him to make only $1.6 million, the 6-foot-6, 200-pound Dinwiddie accepts the fact he is going back to his sixth-man duties this season with Russell having returned to full health.
However, if Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks were to offer an extension, Dinwiddie said he’d be willing to consider signing.
“If Sean Marks calls to give me a contract extension, I’ll take it,” Dinwiddie told Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. “But until he does, I’m looking forward to being a free agent.”
Interestingly, while Dinwiddie will become an unrestricted free agent July 1 if he is not signed to an extension (which he becomes eligible to do Dec. 8), Russell will become a restricted free agent when the calendar flips to July if he’s not signed by Monday’s deadline.
The 22-year-old Russell was the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft out of Ohio State by the Los Angeles Lakers and drafted to Brooklyn for the No. 27 pick in the 2017 draft — which the Lakers utilized to select rising star Kyle Kuzma — center Brook Lopez on an expiring deal and salary-cap room to take on Timofey Mozgov’s massive contract.
The 25-year-old Dinwiddie, on the other hand, was a second-round pick in 2014 and failed to stick with first, the Bulls, and then, the Pistons, then moving on to what is now known as the G League.
Still, Dinwiddie does not believe he’s in a competition with Russell.
“Not at all,” he told Feldman. “No. 2 pick. Franchise PG. Future and all that good stuff.”
While the Nets will most likely be forced to choose between Russell and Dinwiddie, the latter says he is focused on that transpires on the court for him and his Nets teammates as opposed to his contract situation.
“That’s all I can really afford to look at,” Dinwiddie said. “You look at my role – second-round pick, out the league, now back in the league.
“Obviously, good season, don’t matter, back on the bench, all that other stuff. So, all I’ve got to do is continue try to help our team win games.”