Spencer Dinwiddie has been out for the Nets since the first week of the season with a partially-torn ACL, but he’s hoping to make his return to the court if the Nets make it to the NBA Finals, reports The New York Daily News’ Kristian Winfield. Winfield writes that Dinwiddie, who has been rehabbing in Los Angeles at Phenom Sports Performance since his surgery, is planning to rejoin the team soon.
“He’s going to be in Brooklyn to support his team,” a source told Winfield. “He definitely is.”
The Finals are slated to begin six months after Dinwiddie’s surgery, and the Nets point guard, who has been posting his rehab process on Instagram, hopes to have the fastest possible recovery. “I think it’s been 17 weeks. What’s the fastest anybody ever returned to Bball? Lol,” he captioned a workout video in early May.
Head coach Steve Nash has preached a more patient approach.
“It’s very difficult to, one, expose him to full NBA playoff basketball with the type of injury he has. We want to look out for his long-term health, first and foremost,” Nash said in May. “And second of all, adapting back to the team environment. All those things together, it seems like it’s probably very unlikely. But who knows? Stranger things have happened.”
As of last week, Nash and Dinwiddie had not had any conversations about Dinwiddie rejoining the team. The team’s experience with lingering injuries to stars Kevin Durant and James Harden is likely to make them more cautious, though general manager Sean Marks wasn’t willing to go as far as rule his return out.
“I would never bet against Spencer Dinwiddie,” Marks said on April 16. “That’s what we saw four years ago with him. He has a chip on his shoulder, he loves to prove people wrong, so who am I to sit up here and say he’s not going to be able to do something?”
There’s also the question of Dinwiddie’s potential free agency. The 28-year-old has a player option for next season worth just over $12MM and has previously expressed his expectation to decline it and hit the open market. It’s unclear if that would play a part in his decision to push his recovery timetable up and return to action faster than expected.
Of course, the Nets still have to get past the Bucks and either the Sixers or the Hawks if Dinwiddie is to get a chance to make such a decision. They currently lead Milwaukee 2-1, with Game Four on Sunday.