The future has a series of questions for the Brooklyn Nets, considering the return of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant next season will make this a completely different roster with very distinct expectations. Players like Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, who have a prominent role with the team, could see it change in a few months once the superstar takeover is in full effect.
Neither Irving nor Durant are expected to return this season, making this a long wait until the final product is on the floor. So what does the future hold for Dinwiddie and LeVert once the two superstars are healthy?
Dinwiddie is beloved by his teammates and coach Kenny Atkinson. He’s also managed to overdeliver in the first year of his three-year, $34 million deal — playing as the starting point guard for most of the 2019-20 season.
While Dinwiddie has shown great potential in a fill-in role and as a sound backup, he’s been unable to be a seamless fit next to the ball-needy Kyrie Irving, making that a kink that leaves the Nets torn.
And that’s why Brooklyn could be exploring trade talks as soon as this summer.
The Nets simply won’t be able to raise Dinwiddie’s stock much higher than this season, as he now has the freedom to play heavy minutes and run the offense as a starter — making it the prime time to sell high on the 6-foot-5 guard.
Dinwiddie is averaging 20.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game — all career highs. While he lacks a sound 3-point shot, he’s excellent getting to the rack and running the point guard position, which should buy him plenty of eyes in the trade market.
So long as the Nets get a good draft pick in return and maybe a backup small forward to put under Durant, the trade could be considered a major win, given it’d be hard to justify a player of such talent being stuck behind a superstar like Irving. While Dinwiddie was serviceable as a backup, the expectation for big minutes is there and if the Nets have learned anything from the Boston Celtics, these type of scenarios with point guards thriving when Irving is out don’t end very well — just ask Terry Rozier.
LeVert showed his true potential as a scoring machine with a 51-point performance against the Boston Celtics in a surprising overtime win. Unlike Dinwiddie, LeVert is a shooting guard by trade, but has the ability to slide to point guard in the second unit and run the offense, or even move to small forward in smaller lineups.
That versatility alone buys him a spot in this roster.
He’s proven he can score, pass, and rebound, all while nicking a few steals when given some sound playing time. His averages of 17.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game are numbers he should be able to maintain, so long as he can stay healthy.
The Nets rewarded LeVert earlier this season with a three-year, $52.5 million extension despite only playing in 40 games last season. He’s bound to surpass that mark this season, already at 36 appearances — but it’s worthy to note he’s only played in 58 or more games once in his first four seasons.
At a versatile 6-foot-6, LeVert has the chops to play multiple positions and thrive as a dynamic talent that can play alongside Irving and Durant. An emphasis will be placed on his catch-and-shoot ability this summer — if he does well, there’s no reason why the Nets wouldn’t keep him as a key cog for 2020-21.