With free agency quickly approaching, the annual links between marquee free agents and the Los Angeles Lakers have ramped up to extreme levels in recent days and weeks. Along with stories of Kyle Lowry having interest in Los Angeles and DeMar DeRozan being willing to take a pay cut to join his hometown team came a story of another familiar face being linked to the Lakers.
Spencer Dinwiddie has long been mentioned as a player the Lakers have had various levels of interest in acquiring in previous seasons, and is also a player who recent rumors have pegged as interested in a return to his home state of California.
The latest report, though, comes from Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, and specifically links Dinwiddie to the Lakers:
Guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who starred at Woodland Hills Taft High and California, declined his player option for $12.3 million with Brooklyn to become an unrestricted free agent. Dinwiddie, who missed most of last season because of an ACL injury, has interest in joining the Lakers.
For numerous reasons stated before, acquiring Dinwiddie would be a challenge. In opting out of his $12.3 million, Dinwiddie is expecting a payday in line with that figure, or probably higher. And for numerous reasons outlined throughout the build-up to free agency, the Lakers will be severely limited in the amount of money they can offer free agents without making it a sign-and-trade deal, a maneuver that would both limit the Lakers’ spending power overall and hamper their ability to retain their own free agents.
Dinwiddie is also a player who is coming off of an ACL injury and played just three games in the 2020-21 season. When healthy, he was a player who made sense as a scoring guard who could take pressure off of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, over the last four seasons, he is just a 32.2% 3-point shooter and 41.4% shooter overall. For comparison, last season, Dennis Schroder shot 33.5% from behind the arc and 43.7% from the field overall.
While Dinwiddie has gotten to the rim at a clip just a bit higher than Schroder throughout his career, he has struggled to finish there — similarly to Schroder — despite being listed five inches taller. In many senses, Dinwiddie has a similar scoring profile to Schroder in a bigger body. That alone, though, could interest a Lakers team that lacked options on the wing at times last season.
But even though he’s a player who the Lakers have inquired about in the past, considering their current financial situation and his market, it’s hard to see a deal being made between the two unless Dinwiddie takes a large pay cut or the Lakers make their proposal in bitcoin. Considering one of the most recent reports included his desire to “secure the bag,” a hometown discount doesn’t seem on the docket either.