In terrible news, forever Buff Spencer Dinwiddie has torn the ACL in his right knee. He suffered the injury on Sunday night when he collided with Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo. It was a partial tear that requires surgery, putting his return this season in doubt.
This is the second time Dinwiddie has torn an ACL. During his final season at Colorado, the junior guard had led the Buffs as high as 15th in the AP Poll, but slipped while leading a fast break. That non-contact injury was a full tear, and even though it hurt his draft stock, Dinwiddie left for the NBA to secure a contract.
The talented guard was a second round pick in the 2014 draft, spent most of his rookie season rehabilitating, then struggled to find consistency when he played. He was in the G League, traded for nothing, then waived by the Chicago Bulls before the Brooklyn Nets took a chance on him. Finally healthy and given the reigns of the offense, he finally broke out and delivered on his potential.
Although the injury itself should be an easier recovery, the timing is brutal for Spencer. He previously signed a 3 year, $34 million deal that has a player option for the 2021 offseason. He’s considerably underpaid so it was nearly locked in that he would decline that player option and sign elsewhere for more money. He’s still likely to get a sizable contract if he opts out, but his value will drop. The good thing is that he can still opt in to his contract and use his final season in Brooklyn to recoup that value.
Not that this is important here, but the Nets may have had their plans dashed by this injury. There have been rumors aplenty that Brooklyn is targeting James Harden in a deal, but they could only make that trade with Dinwiddie’s salary. They would have to trade Dinwiddie ($11.4M), Caris LeVert ($16.2M), Taurean Prince ($12.2) and filler to match Harden’s salary ($41.2M). Dinwiddie can’t be traded while injured, so this may have dashed those plans.
Get well, Spencer. We can’t wait to see you back on the court giving dudes buckets.