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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday on NBA Countdown (via Nets Daily) that other teams may try to acquire Dinwiddie, who holds a player option for next season, because they wouldn’t have to cap space to pursue him in free agency:
“He’ll be a free agent this summer and there are teams who have interest in trading for him. to have his bird rights, to be able to sign potentially long-term. Perhaps teams who don’t have cap space. It’d be a way to get him on their roster, then they could sign him. This is a player who could perhaps command $70, $75, maybe $80 million in the market even after an ACL injury.
“So watch between now and the trade deadline, as I think teams reach out to the Nets about Dinwiddie. And that gives them another trade asset here as they look to improve this roster.”
The 27-year-old Los Angeles native averaged a career-high 20.6 points for the Nets last season, but his role was reduced during the early stages of the current campaign, putting up just 6.7 points in 21.3 minutes per game, before he suffered the season-ending knee injury.
Add in the Nets’ blockbuster trade for James Harden in January and two things became clear: The franchise is in complete win-now mode and there probably won’t be a major role waiting for Dinwiddie in Brooklyn moving forward with Harden and Kyrie Irving leading the backcourt.
In turn, it would make sense for the Nets to seek out trade offers before the March 25 deadline. The tough question is what they could command in return for a player who won’t play this season and doesn’t have any guaranteed years left on his contract.
Ideally, Brooklyn would target a veteran with a strong track record of being a wing defender. Not necessarily a star, but somebody who could step in on defensive possessions late in games to give the offense-first Nets a boost on that end of the floor.
It’s the type of move that may fly under the radar if it’s a busy deadline, but it could prove crucial as the Nets try to chase down a championship in the coming months.