As you may have heard, the Brooklyn Nets signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. (Also DeAndre Jordan, who is a bum, but he’s good friends with KD and Kyrie so it works out.) (Also Garrett Temple, which is a good signing, but you’re not here to read about Garrett Temple.) To make those moves, they had sign-and-trade D’Angelo Russell (plus thicc boi Treveon Graham and Shabazz Napier) and let Ed Davis walk.
Spencer Dinwiddie is in a brand new situation, but it’s not that much different. The Nets were a fun, upstart team that valued culture and hard work above all. Spencer is a key member of that — as you know, he’s an outstanding person and the perfect teammate. He’s locked in to Brooklyn for 3 years on a $34 million deal. That’s considered a bargain. If you ask Spencer about getting underpaid, he’s fine with it because he values happiness over money, especially when he’s making good money (as opposed to a shitload of money).
Dinwiddie’s role should be about the same as it was this past season. Durant is out for the next year as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon. That means the Nets starters are going to be Irving, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen. Then they will probably have Dinwiddie, Jordan, Rodion Kurucs and Temple coming off the bench.
Irving will probably play his 35 minutes per game with a good amount of workload management (i.e. sitting out certain games in order to stay fresh). Aside from the occasional start, Dinwiddie will most likely be a 30 minutes per game 6th man who will play lead guard when Kyrie rests and 2-guard with Kyrie on the floor. It’s just the same as when Russell was there.
Spencer is a good spot-up shooter who offers terrific secondary playmaking in a Kyrie-centric pick-and-roll offense. Then with Kyrie on the bench, it’s going to be Spencer (and LeVert) running the show with isolations and pick-and-rolls. At least in the first year of this championship contending squad, Dinwiddie should be in the same place as he was with Russell.
Once Durant comes back, things change a bit, but not that much. (It’s dicey to project Dinwiddie’s role in a year, but let’s do it anyway.) The Nets’ roster might change, although only Joe Harris will be a free agent next offseason. It will probably be roughly the same rotation as noted above, just with Durant starting at the 4 and Prince coming off the bench. Dinwiddie will probably be the 6th man and he would stand to play roughly the same amount of minutes.
The difference would be that Kyrie and Durant would likely have staggered minutes, meaning one of them would be on the floor most of the time, if not all. Dinwiddie works well with both because he can spot up. It’s also clear in NBA team building that you can never have too many ball handlers and shooters on the floor. Dinwiddie is a perfect role player in that he’s cagey and adapts well, so he can essentially play with any other player.
What this really means is that Spencer’s role doesn’t change, but his team will be an actual title contender instead of just a good culture team. If the Nets challenge for a title, Spencer is going to play a critical role. And hey, maybe, Spencer will help Kyrie and KD find their happiness.