Nets Rumors

Nets Agree To Three-Year Extension With Spencer Dinwiddie

The Nets have reached a contract extension with Spencer Dinwiddie, the team announced on social media today. The deal is a three-year, $34MM agreement and contains a player option in the third season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Dinwiddie was eligible to receive a four-year extension in the range of $47MM, but opted to sign a shorter deal to reach free agency sooner, Wojnarowski adds.

Dinwiddie can decline his player option to test free agency in 2021. He’ll make approximately $10.6MM next season, $11.4MM in the 2020/2021 season and $12.3MM during the 2021/22 season, according to Wojnarowski.

That $10.6MM starting salary is equivalent to 120% of the NBA’s estimated average salary for this season, and is the maximum amount Dinwiddie could have received on an extension.

“The journey is just beginning. I’m thankful that the Brooklyn Nets believe in me enough to give me a home,” Dinwiddie wrote on social media.

Dinwiddie scored a career-high 39 points off the Nets’ bench in a win over the Sixers Wednesday, adding to his successful week with the team. He’s averaged 16.9 points, 4.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 29 games this season.

His new deal with the Nets will cut into their cap space for free agency next summer, greatly reducing their chances at opening two maximum-salary roster spots. Brooklyn originally signed Dinwiddie to a free-agent contract in 2016 after he spent two years in the G League. He was a finalist for the Most Improved Player award last season, and could be in consideration for Sixth Man of the Year this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Which L.A./NYC Team Is Most Likely To Land Top 2019 Free Agent?

The 2019 NBA offseason is shaping up to be a fascinating one. With plenty of big-name players poised to reach free agency and many teams around the league in position to create cap room, there could be a good deal of player movement on the free agent market.

Making things even more interesting is the fact that all four teams in Los Angeles and New York, the country’s two biggest media markets, are poised to be among those teams with significant cap space, and all four teams will be looking to land a top-tier free agent.

In certain recent years, the Lakers, Clippers, Nets, and Knicks may not have even received consideration from elite free agents. All four clubs have suffered from poor management and/or ownership at times during the last decade, but all four appear to have turned a corner as of late.

The Lakers, under new head of basketball operations Magic Johnson, secured a long-term commitment from LeBron James in free agency and have complemented him with an intriguing collection of young prospects. They should have the cap space necessary to sign another maximum-salary free agent in 2019.

The Clippers, led by owner Steve Ballmer, have transitioned out of the Lob City era by putting together a deep, talented roster, and will have veteran executive Jerry West in their corner as they look to make a splash on the 2019 free agent market. They’ll have more than enough room for one max free agent, and could potentially clear enough space for two.

The Nets are finally out from under their commitments to the Celtics and are trending in the right direction, having acquired young building blocks like Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert despite not having premium first-round picks for the last few years. They could also be in position to open up two maximum-salary contract slots this summer, depending on what happens with their own free agents.

Finally, even the Knicks, who have endured more drama and made more questionable roster moves than just about any other NBA team in recent years, have been showing more patience and making smarter roster moves since Scott Perry assumed GM duties in 2017. Assuming they’re able to move a salary or two, the Knicks should have enough cap space for a max free agent in 2019.

All four of these clubs have big-market appeal and will be able to make strong pitches to next year’s best free agents. That’s a group that should include Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Khris Middleton, Klay Thompson, Tobias Harris, and Kemba Walker, as our recent free agent power rankings show.

Our question today is which of those four clubs has the best chance to land one of those marquee free agents. For the sake of this poll, we’re focused more on outside free agent signings, so the Clippers re-signing Harris or the Knicks re-signing Kristaps Porzingis wouldn’t really count.

What do you think? Which Los Angeles or New York club is in the best position to land an elite free agent in 2019?

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Atlantic Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Atlantic Division:

Terry Rozier, Celtics, 24, PG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $8.8MM deal in 2015
Rozier showed he could be effective starter filling in for Kyrie Irving during the playoffs. With Irving back in the lineup, Rozier has been forced into a second-unit role again. He has expressed a desire to be a starter in the future and that’s not going to happen if Irving re-signs with Boston. Rozier’s stats aren’t that far off from last regular season but it’s been difficult for the restricted free agent, who is currently ranked No. 18 in our Free Agent Power Rankings, to enhance his value while playing 22 MPG.

DeMarre Carroll, Nets, 32, SF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $58MM deal in 2015
Carroll’s offensive numbers have been unsightly since he returned from an injury in early November. He’s shooting 34.4% from the field and 30.8% from long range. He’s also been a defensive liability, according to Basketball Reference, which gives him a minus 1.6 Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating. Carroll cashed in at an opportune time the last time he was a free agent. He’s going to find the offers much more modest next summer, given his age and declining production.

Emmanuel Mudiay, Knicks, 22, PG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $14MM deal in 2015
The way first-year head coach David Fizdale has been tinkering with his lineup and rotation, it’s hard for anyone on the roster to feel comfortable. The point guard situation has remained a muddle, with Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke taking turns as the main guy and sitting in the doghouse. Mudiay had a 28-point performance against Milwaukee earlier this month but the Knicks have been outscored by 46 points over the last three games with the restricted free agent on the court. His grasp on a starting spot seems tenuous at best.

Mike Muscala, Sixers, 27, PF (Up) — Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal in 2017
Muscala has reinvented himself as a stretch four and he’s become a valued member of Philadelphia’s rotation. He’s averaging 10.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 2.2 APG over the past six games. He had an 18-point outing to help the Sixers erase a 15-point deficit in Detroit last week. If Muscala can keep this up for one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams, he’ll be in line for a nice payday next summer and might even find a suitor that views him as a starter.

Danny Green, Raptors, 31, SG (Up)– Signed to a four-year, $40MM deal in 2015
Kawhi Leonard isn’t the only former Spur making a major impact north of the border. Green seems rejuvenated as well. His shooting numbers declined during his last three seasons in San Antonio but with Toronto he’s posting his best averages since the 2012/13 season. He’s shooting 44.2% overall and 42.1% from deep. His defensive metrics have remained well above average. Green should be able to score one more multi-year contract, whether he re-signs with Toronto and gets a starting job elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nets Notes: Dinwiddie, Davis, RHJ, Carroll

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie became eligible for an extension on Saturday but there doesn’t seem to be much progress between the two parties. Dinwiddie’s agent, Raymond Brothers, indicated that to the New York Post’s Brian Lewis. “No news. Nothing to report,” Brothers said.

Dinwiddie can receive as much as $47.5MM on a four-year extension and has said he’d be willing to sign for that amount. Several NBA sources told Lewis that Dinwiddie could get more as an unrestricted free agent next summer. Dinwiddie is currently making just $1.65MM this season, a huge bargain for a productive rotation player. He scored a career-high 39 points on Wednesday.

We have more on the Nets:

  • Big man Ed Davis knows changes could be on the horizon if the team doesn’t start winning games in bunches soon, as he told Michael Scotto of The Athletic. “It’s not just a coaching job that can change, they start trading people. It gets crazy when you lose and how you’re losing,” Davis said. Dinwiddie is also aware that the pressure is building on the current roster to start producing. “I’d venture to guess that if we continued to lose trades would happen, as they should. That’s (GM) Sean (Marks’) job,” he said.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson‘s return to the lineup has helped the Nets crack down defensively, Lewis writes in a separate story. Wins over the Raptors and Knicks this past weekend were facilitated by Hollis-Jefferson’s versatility. He recently returned from an adductor injury. “He can guard a 2, a 3, a 4, a 1. Its just huge for us. And he wants that responsibility. He’s embracing it more now that he’s feeling better physically,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. Hollis-Jefferson will be a restricted free agent in the summer if the team extends a $3,594,369 qualifying offer.
  • DeMarre Carroll has struggled since returning from ankle surgery last month but Atkinson will remain patient with him, Lewis details in another story. The small forward becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. “It’s a little bit him, it’s a little bit me trying to get that confidence back in him that he’s fully healthy and can contribute,” Atkinson said. “He’s not near where he was last year, that’s my estimation. But DeMarre’s DeMarre: That guy’s the ultimate professional, great team guy. We have an understanding where he is.”

Nets Aren't Looking To Tank

As a result of the Nets owning their own first-round pick for the first time in four years and the struggles the team has dealt with after losing Caris LeVert, many fans have brought up the idea of tanking this season to land another top prospect. However, as Greg Logan writes for Newsday, the Nets and head coach Kenny Atkinson won’t be actively trying to lose games any time soon.

The Nets have suffered several tough losses in recent weeks, having built up leads against the 76ers, Grizzlies and Thunder, only to fall short of victories on all three occasions. However, the team had a strong weekend, securing back-to-back victories over the Raptors and Knicks.

As it stands, the Nets sit at 10-18 and 11th in the Eastern Conference. The conference has a plethora of struggling teams, which would make it more difficult for the Nets to fall down the standings. It looks like this Nets team will continue fighting and scraping for every victory it can get.

New York Notes: Lee, Ntilikina, Crabbe, Fultz

Courtney Lee feels like he’s in training camp after missing the first 24 games of the season with a neck injury, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Lee showed obvious signs of rust in two games this week, making just two of seven shots from the field.

“It’s going to take a while to get reactivated to game-speed, game-like situations,’’ he said. “It’ll probably take couple of weeks to get back a rhythm and feel chemistry with the guys. I’ve been thrown out there with those guys and trying to play on the fly. Next couple of weeks, I’ll start to feel comfortable out there.”

Lee’s future with the Knicks remains uncertain as his age (33) and contract don’t fit in with the organization’s plans for the future. The Knicks are hoping to make an impact in free agency next summer and would like to unload Lee’s deal, which will pay him more than $12.76MM next season. Berman suggests the team may showcase him in the coming weeks in an effort to spark a trade.

There’s more from New York City:

  • After being held out of three straight games, Frank Ntilikina appears to be returning to the Knicks‘ rotation, Berman relays in the same story. Ntilikina will likely be used as the backup point guard while Trey Burke is sidelined with a sprained knee. “Frank’s a professional, he understands the game,’’ said coach David Fizdale. “He does a good job controlling what he can control. He’s doing extra work and supporting teammates and doing a great job at it. I wouldn’t say it’s a setback. It’s part of the NBA process. Frank’s handling it very well and learning how to be supportive of teammates.”
  • The pursuit of Allen Crabbe has been the only major mistake by Sean Marks since taking over as GM of the Nets, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. Marks signed Crabbe to a four-year, $75MM offer sheet in 2016 that was matched by the Trail Blazers, then traded for him a year later. Crabbe’s scoring average has fallen under 10 PPG for the first time in four seasons and he is shooting just 25% on 2-point shots. Lowe notes that he’s not contributing enough in any other area to make up for his decline in offense.
  • The Nets‘ record on player development makes them a perfect environment for Markelle Fultz, contends Michael Smeltz of NetsDaily. Smeltz states that a trade for Fultz could speed up Brooklyn’s rebuilding process after mixed results on deals for D’Angelo Russell and Crabbe.

Spencer Dinwiddie Set To Become Extension-Eligible

Spencer Dinwiddie first signed with the Nets on December 8, 2016. That means Diwiddie will become eligible for a contract extension on Saturday, the two-year anniversary of his initial signing. And that fact hasn’t been lost on him. As Michael Scotto of The Athletic noted last week (via Twitter), Dinwiddie recently issued a lengthy statement to reporters about his contract situation.

[RELATED: Players eligible for veteran contract extensions]

“I’d love to have an extension. I’d love to be here for a long time,” Dinwiddie said. “If I don’t get an extension, I’ll be looking forward to unrestricted free agency and going through the season trying to help the Nets win games as much as possible. Either I’m going to sign an extension or I’m going to be an unrestricted free agent, simple as that. The ball is very much in [GM] Sean Marks and the Nets’ court.

“Everybody knows what my extension number is: Four [years] for $47.5MM,” Dinwiddie continued. “It is well documented. You can’t go above. It’s not like I’m really looking to go below. It is what it is. I’ll find out when you guys find out. We’ll either see something on the ESPN ticker that says ‘Spencer Dinwiddie offered $47.5MM from the Brooklyn Nets,’ and then you guys will know how much money my bank account has at that moment in time.”

As Dinwiddie suggests, contract extensions for players on modest deals like his are limited to a starting salary worth up to 120% of the NBA’s estimated average salary. Based on this season’s numbers, that means that a Dinwiddie extension would start at $10.61MM and would be worth $47.51MM over four years.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently said that the Nets have a number in mind for Dinwiddie, which makes it sound as if the club doesn’t plan on putting that maximum amount on the table. But based on the point guard’s candid comments, it sure sounds like he doesn’t have much interest in an extension that pays him less than that full amount ($47.5MM over four years).

Sources told Brian Lewis of The New York Post last week that the 25-year-old, who is in the midst of a career year, could likely command more than that in free agency, so his stance makes sense.

Could Dinwiddie’s asking price come down? Could the Nets relent and offer the full $47.5MM? Anything is possible, but there’s one big reason not to expect the two sides to come to terms on an in-season extension.

The Nets project to have a significant amount of cap room next summer, and extending Dinwiddie would cut into that space substantially. His cap hold as a free agent will only be about $1.6MM, which means Brooklyn could keep that hold on its books, hanging onto Dinwiddie’s Bird rights, then go over the cap to re-sign him after using the rest of its space on other players. That’s exactly what the team did this past offseason with Joe Harris, who was in a similar position. Extending Dinwiddie during the season would increase his projected cap hit from $1.6MM to $10.61MM, cutting into the Nets’ flexibility.

On the other hand, if the Nets don’t make an effort to extend Dinwiddie during the season, it might increase his interest in exploring the market when he becomes a free agent. And since he’ll be unrestricted, Brooklyn wouldn’t necessarily be able to keep him in July.

Plus, even if they were to extend Dinwiddie at the price he wants, the Nets could still create $50MM+ in cap room next summer, and would avoid heading into the offseason with uncertainty surrounding both Dinwiddie and RFA-to-be D’Angelo Russell. Maybe it’d be worth it for the Nets to lock in Dinwiddie at a reasonable rate if they don’t believe they’d have a realistic chance at two max free agents on the open market anyway.

There are no simple or easy answers for the Nets with Dinwiddie, so it will be a situation worth watching starting on December 8.

Knicks Notes: Ntilikina, Hezonja, Wall, Dotson

Before getting his third consecutive DNP-CD on Thursday night, Frank Ntilikina offered some terse answers when asked about his role, perhaps conveying a little frustration, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. Meanwhile, head coach David Fizdale made some ominous comments when asked about his lineup decisions involving Ntilikina and other Knicks.

“I got a front office that supports me in that,” Fizdale said. “We have to know who’s moving forward out of this group. And it won’t be every single player on this roster, unfortunately. That’s the nature of the business. We have to come out of this year knowing who those guys it’s going to be moving forward with us.”

After Thursday’s game, in which the Knicks surrendered 128 points, Fizdale acknowledged that maybe he should’ve given a strong defender like Ntilikina the opportunity to play, per Steve Popper of Newsday.

“I can always look at him,” Fizdale said. “It ain’t like he’s out, though. Again, it’s going to be a long season. Frank will be getting his opportunities again.”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Fizdale said on Thursday that Mario Hezonja is still in New York’s starting lineup because of his effort on defense, as Popper notes. Berman of The New York Post passes along a tweet from former Knicks executive Clarence Gaines Jr. questioning Fizdale’s explanation, while sources also told Berman that Hezonja was happier during his Orlando days when he was in the starting five.
  • Following up on a pair of reports from earlier this week, Ian Begley of ESPN.com says (via Twitter) that the Knicks haven’t had any internal discussions about a possible trade for John Wall and haven’t heard from the Nets or Pistons about Damyean Dotson. Berman previously reported that people around the league believed the Knicks were gearing up to make a push for Wall and said that Detroit and Brooklyn had shown the most interest in Dotson.
  • Lance Thomas is getting close to returning to action, but – like Courtney Lee before him – may have a hard time carving out major minutes in a crowded rotation, Berman writes for The New York Post. Thomas and Lee look like potential trade candidates this season, so New York may make an effort to showcase both players.
  • Ten months after Kristaps Porzingis suffered his ACL tear, there’s still no set timetable for his return to the court, according to Berman.

Is Rookie Rodions Kurucs Ready For A Breakout?

  • The Nets are in a bit of a lull, to say the least, but one bright spot could be the play of rookie Rodions Kurucs, writes Bryan Fonseca of NetsDaily. Kurucs, 20, scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds in 14 minutes in Brooklyn’s loss to the Cavaliers on Monday.

Nets Sorely Missing Caris LeVert

After Nets swingman Caris LeVert went down with a gruesome leg injury a little less than a month ago, the team feared the worst, with several of LeVert’s teammates seen visibly crying after the injury occurred.

Fear turned to relief, however, when tests revealed a subtalar dislocation of the right foot, no broken bones, and a prognosis of a possible return to the court this season.

Since the injury, however, the Nets are 2-11 and have lost eight straight after blowing another big lead against the Thunder tonight. Before the injury, the Nets were off to their best start since the 2014-2015 season with a 6-7 record. So not surprisingly, the relief that Brooklyn felt after LeVert’s diagnosis is starting to wane, writes Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily.

“I just think Caris gives us a different dimension, especially against the switching teams,” head coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Teams were much more hesitant to switch against us because he’d just blow by the big that was guarding him. It’s a dimension we don’t have (now).”

In other words, LeVert made players better on both ends of the floor, with veteran Jared Dudley even going as far as to publicly call LeVert the Nets’ best player earlier this week. “We lost our best player and have lost three to five games by like two to six points, Dudley tweeted. (We) could easily be (a) .500 basketball team.”

There is still no timetable for LeVert’s return, but the Nets still presumably hope to have him back on the court before the end of the 2018/19 season.