Spencer Dinwiddie’s successful first stint with Brooklyn was among the reasons Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were drawn to the Nets during free agency in 2019.
His second stint is a result of Irving’s desire to leave the team. Dinwiddie is expected to officially get reacquainted with the organization that developed the guard starting with Thursday’s visit from the Chicago Bulls.
Dinwiddie will appear in his 275th regular season game for the Nets, who originally signed him on Dec. 8, 2016 in the midst of a 20-win season.
He averaged 14.3 points with the Nets, including 16.8 in 2018-19 when Brooklyn won 42 games. He contributed 20.6 the following season when Durant was recovering from his torn right Achilles tendon and Irving was limited to 20 games due to a shoulder injury.
Dinwiddie tore his ACL three games into the 2020-21 season and then signed a three-year contract with the Washington Wizards, who dealt him to Dallas for Kristaps Porzingis at last year’s deadline. He averaged 17.1 points in 76 games with the Mavericks, and scored 25 points in his final game with them Saturday at Golden State.
Dinwiddie’s farewell with Dallas occurred a day after Irving sought a trade. By Monday night, the 29-year-old Dinwiddie was officially back with the Nets and joined by Dorian Finney-Smith, who is expected to fill a reserve role.
Dinwiddie will have to wait a little while to actually play with Durant again. Durant is not expected to return from his sprained MCL in his right knee until after the All-Star break. The Nets are 5-9 without him after dropping a back-to-back set to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns.
“Being in win-now mode, when you’ve got possibly the greatest scorer of all time, it’s a blessing to play competitive basketball,” Dinwiddie said at his introductory press conference Tuesday. “I have no interest in playing losing basketball and understand the type of talent we have.”
Brooklyn took its latest two losses despite Cam Thomas continuing his scoring barrage. After a career-high 47 points in Monday’s 123-116 loss to the Clippers, Thomas scored 43 in a 116-112 loss to the Suns. Those showings were the second-year guard’s first two starts of the season.
“He has definitely opened a lot of eyes,” Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn said of Thomas, who also scored 44 Saturday against Washington. “What the rotations look like going forward, we’ll see when we get everyone, but he is a guy that from the beginning we have not waned in our belief in what Cam can do in helping us win.”
Chicago is 10-7 over its past 17 games, starting with a home win on Jan. 4 that ended Brooklyn’s 12-game winning streak.
The Bulls saw a three-game winning streak stopped when they endured their worst offensive showing of the season in a 104-89 loss at Memphis on Tuesday while DeMar DeRozan sat out with a sore right hip.
After averaging 123.6 in the previous three games, Chicago scored its fewest points of the season and also shot a season-worst 36.8 percent, including 5-for-19 in a 14-point fourth quarter.
“I think execution-wise, we came down and weren’t really organized,” Chicago guard Zach LaVine said after missing seven of his 17 free throws. “We had a lot of opportunities to make shots. We just didn’t knock them down.”
Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 28 points and LaVine added 24 but Chicago also committed 20 turnovers.
–Field Level Media