A recent article suggests that Spencer inwiddie could be one of the Miami Heat’s targets in 2021 free agency. What would that look like?
One thing Miami Heat fans can count on is the team’s involvement in the star chase that is next summer’s free agency. The club is setting out to bring a third All-Star to team up with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo with hopes of contending for a championship.
The ideal scenario for Pat Riley and the Heat would be landing 2018-2019 MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. But a recent column from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald provided more than a few backup options in case they strike out on the Greek Freak.
Of them, one name that stuck out was Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie. He’s got a $12.3 player option for the 2021-2022 season but could opt out and enter the free agency pool.
“The 6-5 combo guard would be an interesting secondary option if he opts out of $12.3 million for 2021-22. He was averaging 20.6 points and 6.8 assists, and he’s only 26. The big concern: He’s shooting 30.8 percent on threes this season and 31.8 in his career, and the Heat — like many teams — values three-point shooting with their point guards. If he becomes a better three-point shooter, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Heat inquires…”
Dinwiddie, a two-time finalist for the Most Improved Player award, would fit right in on the Heat.
He’s averaging 20.6 points, 6.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds for Brooklyn this season. Dinwiddie has been a spot starter for the Nets as Kyrie Irving and previous point guards missed time with injury.
The point guard’s journey hasn’t been orthodox by any means. It’s that background that makes him seem the perfect fit for Miami and their famous Heat culture.
Dinwiddie was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft to the Detroit Pistons, but was waived just 12 games into his second year with the team. He bounced around the G-League before ending up with the Nets who gave him the opportunity in which he developed.
Dinwiddie’s made his way to starting caliber point guard over the last two years in Brooklyn. He’s a reliable downhill scorer with passing vision that would fit well next to the team’s MVP, Butler.
And his 3-point shot shouldn’t concern the Heat front office. Dinwiddie has proven that he can knock down shots from deep on a reliable basis before. Just last season he connected on 124
-of-370 attempts from behind-the-arc, equaling out to a 35 percent shooting clip.
Why would Miami be in the market for a point guard?
Veteran Goran Dragic is headed for free agency himself in the upcoming offseason, where he’ll no doubt have a number of suitors. Then there’s Rookie of the Year candidate Kendrick Nunn who’s got more draw as a trade piece than future cornerstone.
It also doesn’t help that the first-year point guard will be entering free agency in the same offseason as Miami’s big fish hunt. With an extension for Adebayo already on the table, and eyes on that elusive third All-Star, it’s highly unlikely that Nunn’s salary will fit onto the same payroll.
This is another facet to what makes Dinwiddie such an attractive option for the Heat.
His market will be wide but there’s a ceiling on any potential payday. It’s hard to see the point guard earning more than $20-million per year unless a team like the New York Knicks or Orlando Magic step in and drastically overpays.
The phrase “bang for your buck” comes to mind in regards to Spencer Dinwiddie. The timing of his free agency isn’t choice despite the likelihood of a pay raise. This could allow the Heat to bring in another free agent with the leftover cap space they wouldn’t have in other scenarios.
It’s unlikely Miami lets both Dragic and Nunn get away but not impossible. The NBA is one of the world’s most unpredictable businesses. Especially in terms of free agency and the trade market.
Spencer Dinwiddie has the grit and mentality to play a part in this Miami Heat system and culture. If Pat Riley ends up in the market for a point guard, this may be his number one option. In terms of cost, character, and overall ability, a Dinwiddie signing would be promising for South Beach.