Spencer Dinwiddie has found a home in Dallas.
Since being traded at the deadline in a deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Washington, Dinwiddie has torn it up, averaging 17.6 points and 5.1 assists a game, shooting 56.3% overall and 41.4% from 3. Dinwiddie is getting to the rim more (where he’s finishing 70% of his shots) and being more selective from 3, and the result looks more like the guy everyone coveted in Brooklyn pre-ACL injury. It’s only been seven games, but Dinwiddie has thrived in Jason Kidd’s system as a secondary shot creator deferring to Luka Doncic.
Showing off how he fit in seamlessly with his new team and in a well-defined role, Dinwiddie didn’t understand the reports his teammates wanted him out of Washington. Dinwiddie himself said his efforts at being a leader in Washington were not well received. It felt like a kick-in-the-a** as he walked out the door.
Dinwiddie told Tim MacMahon of ESPN he was hurt by the perception he wasn’t a good teammate in Washington.
“I think that’s what hurt the most,” Dinwiddie said… “I’ve never bashed Washington. I’ve never said an ill thing about the team. In fact, I thank the owner or chairman Ted [Leonsis], I thank Tommy Sheppard the GM and I thank [Bradley Beal] for those three kind of collectively deciding to give me my contract. They didn’t have to pay somebody coming off an ACL.
“I’m appreciative of that, appreciative of my time there. … So to be bashed out on the way out the door hurt my feelings for sure. I think I’m human, of course…
“So to get kind of kicked out the door was a wild feeling. I hadn’t really experienced that before. But I still have nothing ill to say other than, yes, it hurt my feelings. But just like anything else, you become cautiously optimistic about your new situation. So far, it’s a great fit. I love what they ask me to do here, which is get in the paint, and I’m going to continue to do that and continue to try to be of service.”
In the NBA (and at most levels of basketball), for the majority of players fit is as important as talent. A player such as Doncic, Beal, or LeBron James will fit in anywhere because their talent is elite. However, for role players it’s finding a defined role that plays to your skillset, and a coach that understands how to put a player in that position.
Dinwiddie may have found that fit in Dallas. He could be traded again — the Mavericks will be big game hunting when stars become available, looking for a No. 2 next to Doncic, and Dinwiddie has a movable contract — but so far his stay in Dallas is bolstering his reputation.
Dinwiddie has found his fit and should be ready to move on.