It took two full days, but the Nets completed a sign-and-trade deal Wednesday night that will send free-agent point guard Spencer Dinwiddie to the Wizards, where he will receive a three-year contract worth $62 million according to multiple news reports that were confirmed by Newsday.
The deal was expanded to five teams and includes the draft night deal from the previous week that sent superstar Russell Westbrook to the Lakers and created the backcourt opening for Dinwiddie to pair with Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal.
It was reported earlier that the Nets shunned the opportunity to take either or both of Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, who were shipped from the Lakers to the Wizards as part of the Westbrook deal. In the end, the Nets received a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick that they can swap with either the Wizards or Golden State. It was reported by salary cap expert Bobby Marks of ESPN that the Nets also gained a trade exception worth $11.5 million, but teams rarely put trade exceptions to use.
The key to the deal from the Nets’ perspective is that, by taking back no players, they took back no salary as part of the bargain. Because they are facing an enormous luxury tax bill currently projected by ESPN’s Marks at $122 million, they avoided pushing that number far higher by rejecting any player compensation. For instance, Kuzma’s $13 million salary for 2021-22 actually would have cost the Nets close to $45 million, including luxury tax.
At the same time, Nets essentially worked with Dinwiddie rather than holding him hostage to facilitate the deal he wanted for the salary he earned over five productive seasons with them. Dinwiddie played only three games last season before suffering a right knee injury that required reconstructive surgery, but he has been cleared to return and wound up with what Nets general manager Sean Marks previously described as "generational money" to join the Wizards as a starter rather than staying with the Nets as a costly insurance policy.
The five teams involved in the deal include the Wizards, Lakers, Pacers, Spurs and Nets. There were too many moving parts to name, but essentially, Dinwiddie’s new deal was folded into the package the Wizards received from the Lakers to more or less match Westbrook’s salary. In any case, the Nets now must contend with a Dinwiddie-Beal backcourt when they face the Wizards in the future.
Notes & quotes: Former Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni agreed to serve as a special advisor to new Pelicans head coach Willie Green . . . ESPN reported that LaMarcus Aldridge, who signed as a free agent with the Nets last season and abruptly retired because of a heart condition, plans to resume his NBA career after being cleared medically.