It appears that Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie’s stay in the nation’s capital could be short-lived. Apparently, Washington is feeling buyer’s remorse halfway through a terrible comeback year for Dinwiddie. He missed pretty much all of last season in Brooklyn with an ACL injury. He may also be a bit too outspoken for the tastes of his teammates. That combination will get you shipped out of town quickly when you aren’t a star player.
This situation seems to be going south at about the same rate for Dinwiddie as it has for Russell Westbrook in Los Angeles. The two glaring differences for Westbrook: 1) He’s a star, so he’ll always get a longer leash no matter how many times he turns the ball over. 2) His teammates like being around him. They may not always love being on the floor with Russ, but most of his teammates, current and past, like him as a person.
Now I’m not saying Dinwiddie is outright hated in Washington, but from the reports, it sounds like there may be some personality clashing going on behind the scenes. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has reported that the Wizards “want to move Dinwiddie because he looks like a shell of his former self, and his teammates don’t want him there.”
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Dinwiddie decided to take on the role of leader in the locker room early in the season, and it wasn’t exactly met with open arms. “It’s an interesting situation. I spoke up a little bit early on [this season]. It wasn’t necessarily welcomed. And so, like I said, I try to do whatever’s asked of me. At the end of the day, everybody has a role to play…”
“… It’s about being accountable in your role and doing that to the best of your ability. That’s really all I’ve got.”
It is undoubtedly a risk going to a new team as a role player then almost immediately attempting to assume a leadership role among other players that have been on the team. Then on top of that, your production on the court isn’t up to where it once was. Now you’ve got a sticky situation on your hands. We’re a little over three months into the NBA season, and Dinwiddie is involved in trade rumors. He’s already worn out his welcome, it would seem.
But Washington isn’t the only team that’s witnessing Dinwiddie’s lackluster performance this season. The entire league can see that he isn’t playing with the same vigor he did for the Nets. It could be the ACL injury and him just needing more time. Or that injury may have diminished his skillset a bit for good. Hopefully, it isn’t the latter, but Dinwiddie is not having the best year. His points per game (13.0) have fallen to his lowest (12.6) since his 2017-18 season in Brooklyn. Spencer’s shooting percentages are down, and his assists are also down compared to his last season for the Nets.
If the Wizards are over the Dinwiddie experience already, who the hell is going to trade for him now? That question will be answered soon, with the trade deadline just around the corner on Feb. 10. The Clippers have emerged as a viable option, but they don’t have a lot of draft capital or players that they’d be willing to give up that the Wizards would also want. So, we’ll keep an eye on this situation because it sounds like a total mess right now.