When Spencer Dinwiddie entered the 2014 draft, teams were unsure if he had fully healed from his torn ACL he suffered that January. The incredibly gifted guard from Colorado University was one of the best combo guards in the country before his injury, but that didn't stop the Detroit Pistons from taking a chance on him in the second round.
With concerns about his shot from deep and ability to be consistent, Dinwiddie spent some time developing with the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons D-League affiliate. With two years of NBA and D-League experience under his belt, it looked like he was ready to have a good year with his new team, the Chicago Bulls.
Unfortunately, the Bulls decided to cut him before the season started. Despite a good offseason for Chicago, they decided to cut him to make room to fill a position of need. Following the cut, he decided to stay local and agreed to join the upstart Windy City Bulls. So far, he has looks like a player that belongs on an NBA roster.
In the inaugural game for both the Windy City Bulls and the Long Island Nets, Dinwiddie was cooking with gasoline. In 28 minutes he scored 17 points, pulled down three rebounds, and dished out 11 assists to one turnover in the victory. He shot an efficient five of nine from the floor and a perfect two for two from deep.
The next night against the Erie Bayhawks, he ended with 22 points, three rebounds, and six assists to two turnovers in 35 minutes of play. He went seven of twelve from the floor and split he three point attempts, going one of two.
If there was ever one knock against Dinwiddie’s game, especially in Detroit, it was that he was not a threat from deep. In his first season Dinwiddie just averaged 18% from beyond the arc on two attempts per game. Meanwhile, Dinwiddie shot 10% from beyond the arc on .8 attempts per game during his second season. This is something he has tried hard to improve on, and has done so.
In the young D-League season, Dinwiddie is shooting 50% on six attempts, a small sample size but an important one. One thing that always torpedoes a young guard’s shooting percentage from deep is shot selection, and that is something Dinwiddie has improved on to start the season.
What he can offer teams right now is being a good spark plug off the bench while also adding versatility on defense. He does a good job coming off screens to get his shot, but at 6’6” he doesn't need to rely on just screens to get his shot off. He is a tall point guard and while he doesn't have the reputation as a defensive stopper, he has the potential to be really special.
He has all the tools to guard three positions with ease. He is fast enough to stay in front of point guards and he is long enough to defend two guards and wings with ease. At 200 pounds he isn't the strongest and struggles against bigger players defensively, but he is fast enough and, with a 6’8.25” wingspan, long enough to hold his own.
Dinwiddie is a high character guy that has always been a favorite wherever he has gone. Teams should jump at the chance to add a guy to the roster that would be a great locker room presence, spark plug off the bench, committed to getting players in the second unit involved in the offense, and versatile enough on defense. His stock will only grow as the D-League season goes on, and as injuries happen at the next level expect to hear his name in the discussion for call ups.