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James Harden trade request put Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie on notice

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie dribbles the ball up

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie dribbles the ball up court against the San Antonio Spurs at Barclays Center on Friday, March 6, 2020. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

When James Harden recently asked the Rockets to trade him to the Nets, it naturally put several members of the roster on the hot seat as potential trade bait. None more so than backup point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who is coming off a season in which he averaged career highs of 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game.

That made him the most productive player on the Nets last season, and since he begins the coming season in the sixth man role, Dinwiddie certainly would go in any Harden trade. But first-year Nets coach Steve Nash made it clear on Wednesday that he loves what Dinwiddie brings to the table behind starting point guard Kyrie Irving.

"He’s an outstanding basketball player," Nash said. "High IQ. Has a good feel for the game. He’s an outstanding athlete, and he’s skilled. He’s a big point guard who can play off the ball, can play multiple positions, can make plays for his teammates and can score. He’s played heavy loads for this team, so, he gives us a lot of versatility."

Nash said Dinwiddie can help fill the gaps around superstars Kevin Durant and Irving by creating plays, spotting up to shoot or taking on key defensive assignments. "I love him, and I just want to try to maximize his usage," Nash said. "He’s capable of carrying a load, but at the same time, he’s capable to give us different looks and different options at multiple places. I think he’s going to play a big role for us."

Asked directly how difficult it would be to trade Dinwiddie, Nash blanched. "You’re giving me the sweats," Nash said. "We’re already trading him?...I’m heavy voting towards not trading Spencer, and I think the front office feels the same way. He’s a free agent at the end of the year, but we all love him and know it would be very difficult to do better than Spencer in a trade."

New York Sports