clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Let’s do a deep dive on why a Spencer Dinwiddie trade to the Detroit Pistons makes no sense

Deconstructing a rumor percolating in the NBA #discourse

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

I was largely detached from my devices this weekend, but I did see a story or two pop up connecting Spencer Dinwiddie to the Detroit Pistons. I’ll admit I never clicked through but figured it was a case of the Nets shopping the surplus guard, and Detroit Pistons fans always pining to reunite with the one who got away.

I never did a deep dive because, frankly, a deal would make no sense. Fast forward to today, and I see some legit outlets and aggregators floating the story as well. I decided to reverse engineer what is going on because, frankly, a deal would make no sense.

Here are the key takeaways:

  1. The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly shopping Spencer Dinwiddie, according to Marc Spears, who is most likely out for the season with a partially torn ACL.
  2. Spencer Dinwiddie has a player option for $12.3 million, and there is a belief even now he could opt out of the deal in pursuit of a new long-term contract.
  3. The Brooklyn Nets are in search of wings and big men as they look to fortify their roster for a title run.
  4. Ian Begley at SNY reported a link between the Pistons and the Nets.
  5. Words matter.

Let’s go back to that last point because it is the most important in those trying to connect the dots between Brooklyn and Detroit.

Here is what Begley wrote in his original piece. “The Detroit Pistons are among the teams who have had interest in acquiring Spencer Dinwiddie from the Nets, per SNY sources.” Emphasis mine.

That seems alarmingly past-tense for something that set Pistons Twitter ablaze with curiosity, and even the headline of Begeley’s piece treats it as more of a current concern (“Pistons among teams interested”).

Now, maybe that’s just sloppy wording, but the way I read that is Detroit showed interest in Dinwiddie in the past, and now Dinwiddie is on the block.

When would Detroit have been interested in Dinwiddie? Well, I’m not betting man, but I would assume it was when the new GM took a look at his roster, with zero point guards on it, and intent to trade everything that wasn’t nailed down.

Detroit did swing trades for first- and second-round picks from Brooklyn, after all, in the complex series of trades between Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston and the LA Clippers. I’m sure at some point Dinwiddie was part of the conversation even if the Nets quickly rejected any proposal with Spencer in it.

So what about now for Detroit? Would the Pistons be interested in Spencer today?

Not likely. The Pistons traded for a different point guard under contract for multiple years by acquiring Delon Wright from the Dallas Mavericks. The team also drafted two point guards and traded the expiring deal of Derrick Rose for a flyer on point guard Dennis Smith Jr.

Dinwiddie is injured and is either on an expiring deal or has just one year left. That means the Pistons wouldn’t get assets for taking him on, and it doesn’t make sense to trade assets for an injured player who would likely leave a bottom-five franchise at the earliest convenience.

So what about now for Brooklyn? Would the Nets want to deal Dinwiddie?

If the Nets find that Dinwiddie opts in, they are a deeper team with a player on an expiring contract anxious to show the league he deserves a long-term deal. Sounds like a tradeable contract to me at the next deadline.

While there is no major pressure to ship out Spencer, it makes sense to see if there is a market for him now. The Nets know there is not much of a long-term future for Dinwiddie in Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving and James Harden holding things down in the backcourt. Might as well see what you can get — especially if it can help you finally solve your issues at center or get longer, more defensive players on the wing.

You’re not going to find that in Detroit unless the Nets are enamored with Mason Plumlee and the Pistons are fully sold on what rookie Isaiah Stewart can do as a starter and anxious to open up minutes for the struggling Sekou Doumboya.

But I find that increasingly unlikely.

So we have two teams that don’t match up asset wise, and one team in the Pistons that likely isn’t as nearly interested in Dinwiddie as they were six months ago. He doesn’t solve any major roster questions, and at 27 years old with two ACL surgeries behind him doesn’t seem to fit a long-term timeline.

In other words, this is likely just another rumor that doesn’t amount to anything. I don’t think the GOAT with a goatee is likely to reunite with the team that drafted him anytime soon.