Brooklyn Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie Gets His Deal
Nets announce guard has agreed to contract extension
On Spencer Dinwiddie Day plus-five, all the speculation and wondering about the guard's future as a Brooklyn Net finally reached a conclusion.
Last Saturday, Dec. 8, had been the first date Dinwiddie would be eligible to sign a contract extension with the Nets, two years after they initially signed him. It was a day that carried some additional significance for the 25-year-old. He had two family members who shared Dec. 8 as a birthday. And it was also the day he had decided to release his eponymous, self-designed sneaker.
And as the dynamic, 6-foot-6 guard continued to elevate his play on the court, that Dec. 8 date got bigger on the calendar. It was of course, an opening date, not a deadline. There remained plenty of time to make a deal. And five days later, they did.
The organization announced Thursday evening that they had "reached an agreement in principle with Spencer Dinwiddie on a contract extension," via Twitter.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the deal as a three-year extension worth $34 million, with Dinwiddie holding a player option for the third year. He was eligible for an extension up to four years and $47.5 million.
"The journey is just beginning. I'm thankful that (the Brooklyn Nets) believe in me enough to give me a home," said Dinwiddie via Twitter.
"One thing about Spencer, he's impeccable with his habits," said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson earlier this season. "Even when we have a day off, he comes in here and he gets a lift. He's seven days. There's really no days off, and we know this, because we hear, 'Spencer's in the gym, Spencer's in the gym.' It's his preparation."
Dinwiddie is in his third season with the Nets, averaging a career-high 16.9 points with 4.9 assists per game while shooting 47.4 percent overall and 36.8 percent from 3-point range.
A day before the Nets announced the contract extension, Dinwiddie put up a career-high 39 points against the Philadelphia 76ers.
"I keep telling him, ‘Your elite skill is you’re one of the best drivers in the league and the best finishers in the league.’ When he’s really good, he’s doing that," said Atkinson prior to Dinwiddie's 25-point performance against the Knicks last Saturday. "Whether it’s finishing at the rim or spraying the ball to the other guys, I can’t emphasize enough that we want him to keep doing that."
In the weeks leading to that Dec. 8 date, Dinwiddie began to field questions about his contract situation. He deflected questions about the status of negotiations to the Nets front office or his representatives, but was unequivocal that he would be happy to have the opportunity to continue as a Net.
"I would love to have an extension," said Dinwiddie on Nov. 29. "I would love to be here for a long time."
What was clear as the date approached was that a payday was coming Dinwiddie's way one way or another, and it would be the culmination of a twisty road. He declared for the 2014 NBA Draft despite a knee injury that ended his junior season at Colorado. Drafted in the second round by Detroit, he played 46 games over two seasons with the Pistons before being traded to Chicago.
The Bulls cut him in training camp that fall and he signed on with the franchise's G League squad, the Windy City Bulls. That's where he was when the Nets signed him on Dec. 8, 2016.
A year later, Dinwiddie was Brooklyn's starting point guard after injuries to D'Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin. His overall play and knack for late-game heroics led to an invite to NBA All-Star Weekend's Skills Competition, where he took home the trophy. He also ended up a finalist for the NBA's Most Improved Player Award after finishing the season averaging 12.6 points and 6.6 assists per game, ranking second in the NBA in assist to turnover ratio.
"Obviously, you want to thank God and your support system, my parents, my family in general, my grandmother, rest in peace," said Dinwiddie on Nov. 29 when asked about the potential for a new contract. "Her birthday is Dec. 8. My little brother's birthday is Dec. 8. I wear number 8 probably because of those two dates. There's a lot of stuff there that people don't really unpack because they're always focused on the extension and the money and all that stuff.
"To be where I was and where I came from, with only those core group of seven, eight people believing in me -- now my son, so add him into that; he can't talk, but I know he believes in me -- it's a blessing."