Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets Player Preview 2017-18: Spencer Dinwiddie

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Spencer Dinwiddie, Point Guard

2016-17: 22.6 MPG, 7.3 PPG, .444 FG%,.376 3P%, 2.8 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 59 G

Who is Spencer Dinwiddie?

Dubbed “The Mayor” and known as someone who does not believe in “sticking to sports,” Spencer Dinwiddie is an absolute social media delight. Since his arrival in Brooklyn, the 24-year-old has been recognized for being “different” and for his interactions with fans on Twitter. In fact, this season, he’s even upping his game for fan interaction. The California native announced on Nets Media Day that he will be auctioning off game-worn items this season to raise money for a four-year scholarship program. This allows him to satisfy one of his personal goals of playing in all 82 games while giving back to the community. The gear that’s up for grabs will not only be Dinwiddie’s — he’ll have help from other Nets, and he’d also like other NBA players to join the cause. Talk about “The Mayor” setting a high standard for philanthropy.

2016-17 Recap

The University of Colorado product joined the Nets on a 10-day contract last December, following the team’s slew of point guard injuries and dismissal of Yogi Ferrell. Dinwiddie fit the mold as a G League star for a Sean Marks-esque pickup midseason. (Sean Kilpatrick, another G League star but in the 2015-16 season, was sought out by the Nets in late February 2016.) In nine games with the Windy City Bulls, Dinwiddie averaged 19.4 points, 8.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 37.4 minutes.

With the Nets starting rookie Isaiah Whitehead at the time, Dinwiddie served as a backup for his first 13 games in Brooklyn. However, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson soon began his countless lineup experiments. This led to Dinwiddie’s entrance into the starting lineup on Jan. 6, just one day before his contract became guaranteed. Prior to his season with the Nets, Dinwiddie had only been a starter once — during his first year in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons.

Dinwiddie’s role for the remainder of the year varied. At one point, he was in Brooklyn’s starting rotation for 10 consecutive games, but he came off the bench for a majority of the season. Still, like many of the Nets’ young pieces, Dinwiddie looked more comfortable on the floor as the season progressed. His six double-figure performances in the last 10 games of the season, as well as his impressive 37.6 percent clip from downtown, are evidence of that.

What Does He Bring in 2017-18?

The fact that the Nets’ roster is littered with guards makes it difficult to determine how exactly Dinwiddie will fit into the picture. (Not to mention, Atkinson’s unpredictability as far as lineups go.) One thing is for sure: Even as a reserve, this guy will get minutes.

Experience is the one thing that sets Dinwiddie apart from the rest of Brooklyn’s guards. Sure, he’s only been in the league for three seasons, but the other potential backup point guards the Nets can turn to are combo guards (Isaiah Whitehead and D’Angelo Russell) and as a stretch, maybe even Caris LeVert. Dinwiddie has at least a year over all of these players, and aside from Jeremy Lin, he’s the only player on the Nets who plays solely at the point guard position. It’s possible Atkinson will use Dinwiddie as the first point guard off the bench, though Dinwiddie’s biggest competition, as evidenced by how last season played out, is Whitehead.

Highlight Reel

Here are some of Dinwiddie’s G League highlights, against the Long Island Nets. Wonder how he caught the Brooklyn Nets’ attention…

One of “The Mayor’s” best games of the season!

Bottom Line

The Nets have a plethora of players who can play multiple positions. From Dinwiddie (as only one of two “pure” point guards on the roster), they need a consistent playmaker for their bench unit. In an Instagram interview with The Ball Insider, “The Mayor” has even brought up being a playmaker off the bench as something he expects to do for his team.

Q: What do you expect to do and help out with your team and city?

A: Be a playmaker off the bench, bring energy and defend. Want to also be more active philanthropically.

(This interview happened over a month before Media Day, so philanthropically, he was certainly alluding to his charitable plans for the season.)

Last season, Dinwiddie showed many flashes of playmaking abilities, including the second clip above in the highlight reel. If he can bring that on a steady basis, it will be a successful year of progression for him and (hopefully) the Nets.

It’ll be intriguing to see what Dinwiddie can bring in a full 82-game season and whether he’ll be able to meet his own personal goal of playing in all 82 games. With his giving and outspoken personality, it’s hard not to root for him to auction off as much game-worn gear as he possibly can.

The Brooklyn Game Player Previews: Quincy Acy, Jarrett Allen, Trevor Booker, DeMarre Carroll, Allen Crabbe

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