When the Dallas Mavericks decided to offload Kristaps Porzingis and a second-round pick for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, most fans had a difficult time understanding the trade. Like KP, Dinwiddie and Bertans are both overpaid, and they both add less value on the court than KP does. My initial thought of puzzlement and somewhat anger because of the deal quickly subsided as I began to look at the potential of adding these two guys.
I want to preface this by saying I still don't particularly love the deal. Bertans contract is shocking, and Dinwiddie looks slower trying to regain form after ACL surgery. Both of these guys have underperformed their contracts in Washington, but I don't necessarily think their stats reflect the impact they can potentially have on the Mavericks.
Bertans role in the Mavs' offense will be pretty straightforward, play about 15-20 minutes a night and hit your catch and shoot 3s. Bertans did this at an elite level most of his career, even though his 3-point percentage has dipped drastically to 31.0 percent this year. Bertans playing in an offense where he's not asked to do as much to get his shot could help that number jump up closer to his career average of 40.0 percent. The real wild card is going to be Spencer Dinwiddie.
What Spencer Dinwiddie will do for the Dallas Mavericks offense?
Through Dinwiddie's first two games in Dallas, his numbers are not eye-popping. He is averaging 6.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 27.0 minutes per game, but keep in mind, these are only his first two games in a new offense. I don't want people to get wrapped into the stats right now. They should focus more on the fluidity within the offense.
Dinwiddie's best season saw him average 20.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. He was mainly in a role where he had complete control of the ball, so he built the reputation as a guy who needed the ball to be effective. His poor play in Washington only corroborated those claims, and coupling that with his dip in athleticism because of a significant knee injury were reasons for ire from Mavs fans.
I think Mavs fans need to step back and examine what Dinwiddie would do in Dallas and why he struggled so much with the Wizards. First off, in Washington, Dinwiddie was asked to be a pure point guard, which is not his game.
Dinwiddie excels at getting to the rim and creating his own as an iso scorer. He also gets to the line at a high rate and shoots them at a solid 79.3 percent for his career. Dinwiddie is also a very underrated passer, and although he's not going to play a significant factor on the defensive side of the ball, he can hold his own.
Dinwiddie's strengths can seriously help the Mavs because the team relies on Brunson and Luka to provide everything on offense. Getting a third playmaker to go in and provide offense can be vital.
With Dinwiddie's size and skillset, you can play him on the court alone, with JB only, with Luka only, or all three together. Through two games, fans have seen a lineup of Brunson, Luka, and Dinwiddie work exceptionally well. The ball seemed to move quickly out of Dinwiddie's hands. He appeared to be a great fit with Luka and Brunson on the court, and the offense had a nice feel to it.
Current Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd also has extensive experience dealing with these three guard systems. In 2011, the Mavs consistently lined up with Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, and Deshawn Stevenson or JJ Barea.
Acquiring Spencer Dinwiddie has upside, and I don't think it's entirely fair to write this move off as a poor decision by the Dallas Mavericks yet. If Dinwiddie can regain some form he showed in Brooklyn while consistently staying healthy, it will boost the Mavs.