San Antonio Spurs Trade Target: Spencer Dinwiddie
By Dylan Carter
The injury bug has bitten the San Antonio Spurs hard in the past few days, they may need to make a trade before the start of the season.
First, rookie Lonnie Walker went down with a meniscus injury. Next, it was announced that third-year guard Dejounte Murray will miss the season with a torn ACL. Now, it’s been reported that sophomore Derrick White will miss 6-to-8 weeks with a heel injury.
Needless to say, it might be time for the San Antonio Spurs to make a trade.
For those counting: That's the Spurs' past three first-round draft picks going down, one-by-one, in the past three preseason games. Just amazing.
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 12, 2018
The Brooklyn Nets have made their focus of acquiring assets clear as day. After multiple consecutive years giving their draft picks to Boston as a result of the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett trade in 2013, the Nets are stockpiling assets. Their franchise is focused on building their young core and acquiring as much draft capital as possible.
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San Antonio could certainly use the help of fifth-year combo guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who’s on the final year of his $1.6 million contract. Coming off of a season in which he finished third in Most Improved Player voting, Dinwiddie is at the highest point of his professional career and has no intention of slowing down.
He’s a passionate and driven player and most importantly, he played in 80 of the team’s 82 games last season. The Spurs are in desperate need of a durable starting point guard and Dinwiddie may be the perfect solution.
During the 2017-18 season, Dinwiddie replaced the injured D’Angelo Russell as the starting point guard for Brooklyn and averaged 12.6 points and 6.6 assists per game in 28.8 minutes per contest. Playing for the injury-laden Nets put Dinwiddie in a difficult position last season. He was forced to shoot much more than he normally would’ve and his shooting percentages dipped because of it.
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) discussed his recent Most Improved Player of the Year interview comments today at practice. pic.twitter.com/unpaTWYIUV
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) October 11, 2018
While his efficiency was an issue last year, the team-oriented offense implemented by San Antonio would open up opportunities for Dinwiddie to shoot and score. He’s got wicked range despite shooting 32.6 percent from behind the arc last season. He could space the floor with the ball out of his hands and set up teammates when necessary.
As a starter, Dinwiddie averaged 13.8 points and 7.2 assists in 30.6 minutes per contest. As the lead point guard for Brooklyn, Dinwiddie proved to the world that he’s a quality starter in this league. Even after Russell returned, Dinwiddie remained in and out of the starting lineup because of his enhanced productivity.
Since he’s on the last season of his contract, San Antonio would have no pressure to sign Dinwiddie to a long-term deal. First, they’d focus on his fit with the team and the season at hand. Should he impress head coach Gregg Popovich and perform at a high level, San Antonio could bring him back for next year. If things don’t work out, they could simply let him walk.
This is a low-risk, high-reward scenario for the San Antonio Spurs.
What the Spurs depth chart looks like, after injuries to Murray, White and Walker IV pic.twitter.com/ONLLWenY0T
— Quixem Ramirez (@quixem) October 12, 2018
The Western Conference is as competitive as ever and these injuries will have a serious impact on the team’s playoff contention. If Pop and general manager R.C. Buford want to keep this thing going, they need to make a move to fill the team’s blatant gap at point guard. Otherwise a committee of Bryn Forbes and Patty Mills will dominate the starting point guard role which is less than ideal. Dinwiddie isn’t going to be the franchise star of the future, but he’s a piece that could help push the team back towards serious playoff contention.
As for the trade itself, Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks will look to return a decent amount of draft capital. San Antonio acquired a first-round pick from Toronto in the DeMar DeRozan trade and could it that to lure Marks into a trade. Buford could package together some combination of protected first or second-round picks, cash considerations and someone like forward Okaro White to get the deal done.
Even if it’s not for Dinwiddie, the Spurs should be looking at teams with an abundance of point guards at this point. They could sign someone like Jameer Nelson as a free agent, but that’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is the San Antonio Spurs we’re talking about, it’s a winning organization. Going out and grabbing Nelson isn’t going to dictate the course of the season.
Trading for Dinwiddie would be greatly beneficial for this year and could establish a young and dependable guard rotation for seasons to come.