Future Watch: Spencer Dinwiddie Basketball Cards, Nets – Three players at the 2017-18 NBA Awards received first place votes for Most Improved Player. Victor Oladipo of the Pacers led the pack with 99 votes, helping him secure the award. Following him were Houston’s Clint Capela, and Spencer Dinwiddie of the Nets, each earning one first place vote. Most casual NBA fans are familiar with Capela, but who is this Dinwiddie guy? The 6’6” point guard from Colorado took a huge step in his fourth season and is giving fans in Brooklyn something to cheer about as the team builds toward the future.
Dinwiddie was born in Los Angeles, California and attended William Howard Taft High School. As a prep, he improved on his game every year, and finished his senior season with per game averages of 11.2 points and 7.7 assists. That year, he won the John R. Wooden California High School Player of the Year. This earned him offers from colleges around the country including Harvard, Oregon, Santa Clara and UNLV. He would eventually decide to attend the University of Colorado.
In his freshman season, Dinwiddie made an impact on a Colorado squad that had been at the bottom of the Pac-12 conference for many years. He led the team in free-throw percentage and ranked third among all NCAA freshman in that category. Dinwiddie was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team that year and was the only Pac-12 freshman to have a field-goal percentage over 40% on the season. He also helped Colorado reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.
Dinwiddie broke out in his sophomore season at Colorado. He led the team in assists, and helped the Buffalos secure an NCAA Tournament bid for their second straight season. It would be first time Colorado had reached back-to-back tournaments since the 1963 season. Dinwiddie would continue to grow as a player and lead Colorado well into his junior season. Unfortunately, he suffered a career-threatening ACL injury and sat out the remainder of his junior year. After the season, he declared for the NBA draft.
On draft night in 2014, Dinwiddie was selected with the 38th overall pick by the Detroit Pistons. In two seasons for Detroit, Dinwiddie showed flashes but wasn’t given enough opportunity to grow as an NBA player. His best game during his rookie season came against the Washington Wizards when he scored 20 points with eight assists off the bench. In 2016, Dinwiddie was traded to the Chicago Bulls. He would spend most of his time with the organization’s D-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls.
In December of 2016, Dinwiddie signed with the Brooklyn Nets. He would play in 59 games that season, starting in 18. He took a big leap forward in 2017-18 where he would play in 80 games, starting in 58. In 28.8 minutes per game, Dinwiddie scored 12.6 points to go along with 6.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds. On January 12th, 2018, he scored 20 points with 10 assists and nine rebounds in a win against the Atlanta Hawks. At All-Star Weekend, Dinwiddie participated in the Skills Challenge and won the event.
The Nets have been somewhat of a joke of an NBA franchise since their move to Brooklyn. They are now finally getting away from many years of traded draft picks and bad contracts. It won’t be long before the franchise is able to recruit high profile free agents. Spencer Dinwiddie is the type of player this franchise needs as they look towards the future. His ability to defend both guard positions and facilitate an offense gives him the opportunity to play in a number of lineups. Nothing was given to him, he earned his place in the league and fans outside of Brooklyn should take notice.
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