With the exception of once-in-a-lifetime talents like Karl-Anthony Towns or Anthony Davis, it’s very difficult for any young player to make that transition from college to the NBA. That’s especially apparent for young point guards, as they face a plethora of different challenges that players in any other position really don’t face. Whether it’s building chemistry with the other four players on the court or getting adjusted to the pace of the NBA, it’s a huge challenge for any young point guard to make that transition.
That difficulty is heightened for young point guards that start their career in their particular team’s 2nd unit. In that role, those young guards only get around 15-20 minutes per game which hardly enough time to fight through some of the clear challenges that they face. Obviously, plenty of point guards that can fight through those issues to become solid role players or starters, other players are unable to have that success.
One player that currently fits into that second criteria is Spencer Dinwiddie. Drafted with the 38th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, where he spent two years during which he shared time between the Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit’s NBADL affiliate) and in the Pistons’ 2nd unit. In his two seasons in the D-League, Dinwiddie impressed by averaging 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists on 41% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc.
Despite his success in the D-League, Dinwiddie was never able to fit in with the Pistons, as he stood third in the team’s depth chart behind Reggie Jackson and Brandon Jennings. That inactivity led to the Pistons trading Dinwiddie during the 2016 off-season to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Cameron Bairstow
Although Dinwiddie was with a new squad, those same issues remained with him in Chicago. At the time of the trade on June 17th, the Bulls still had Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks still on the roster. Even though Rose and Brooks would eventually leave Chicago, the team would replace that duo in the off-season with the likes of Rajon Rondo and Jerian Grant. Despite taking another backseat inside a team’s rotation, Dinwiddie remained confident as he headed into the preseason. In a mid-October interview with Piston Powered, Dinwiddie said the following about his preseason plans:
Those rough patches weren’t exactly that evident for Dinwiddie during the preseason. In five preseason games with the Bulls, Dinwiddie averaged 6.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 58% from the field in 14.9 minutes per game. That preseason stint included a tremendous 19 point and 6 rebound performance against the Indiana Pacers.
However, Dinwiddie’s solid preseason performance wasn’t enough for the Bulls, as they added another non-shooting point guard in the middle of preseason. On October 17th, the team acquired Michael Carter-Williams from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Tony Snell. Chicago’s addition of MCW unfortunately put an end to Dinwiddie’s Bulls career as the team waived him on October 21st, four days after that trade.
Following his release from Chicago, Dinwiddie is reportedly looking to return to the NBA D-League. On Wednesday night, The Step Back’s Chris Reichert reported that Spencer Dinwiddie has signed with the NBADL to play with the Windy City Bulls, Chicago’s new D-League affiliate.
After being waived by the Bulls, Spencer Dinwiddie has signed with the NBA D-League and will play for WC Bulls, source tells @The_Step_Back— Chris Reichert (@Chris_Reichert) October 26, 2016
Although the D-League isn’t most ideal spot for Dinwiddie to start his third NBA season, it could be a great way for him to re-energize his basketball career. Like we said in an August piece on Kendall Marshall, the NBADL has a great way for young veterans to rejuvenate their careers. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the likes of Danny Green, Shelvin Mack and Garrett Temple utilize the D-League to work on their all-around games. The D-League could be used as a tool for those players and impress any NBA teams with the hopes of returning to the Association.
While that D-League return may be tough, Spencer Dinwiddie could be on his well on his way to rejuvenating his NBA career.