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Less than a full season into his tenure with the Washington Wizards, Spencer Dinwiddie may have already worn out his welcome in the nation’s capital.
Looking at the NBA’s trade landscape ahead of the Feb. 10 deadline, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported the Wizards “want to move Dinwiddie because he looks like a shell of his former self and his teammates don’t want him there.”
Washington gave the veteran guard a three-year, $54 million contract after acquiring him in a sign-and-trade this past offseason. The team was looking at him to make up some of the production it lost by trading Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dinwiddie’s arrival also showed the Wizards were trying to continue contending as long as Bradley Beal is on the books. Beal is eligible to opt out of his contract this summer.
Unfortunately for the franchise, Dinwiddie isn’t hitting the heights he enjoyed during his best years with the Brooklyn Nets.
The 28-year-old is averaging 13.2 points and 5.7 assists and shooting just 38.6 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from beyond the arc. Even worse, he doesn’t appear to be having a positive impact in the locker room.
Following a 115-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last Saturday, Dinwiddie said he attempted to assume a position of leadership and offer his advice behind the scenes earlier in the season and that “it wasn’t necessarily welcomed.”
Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. attempted to downplay the meaning of Dinwiddie’s comments.
“I think I’ve been open from Day 1 to suggestions from our guys, vets that have been around,” Unseld told reporters. “I’m not sure who that was pointed to. I don’t know if that was directed at staff or teammates, or I’m not sure who that was pointed to, but I think it’s great. can have and they can have amongst themselves [the better].”
In general, things are not going well for the Wizards:
Bullets Forever @BulletsForever
Let’s see if I have this all right:
-Bertans vs Deni;
-KCP vs Harrell;
-Todd suspended for conduct detrimental;
-Beal irritated starters had to check back in vs LAC;
-Teammates don’t like Dinwiddie.
Anything I miss? pic.twitter.com/OUVDnJX5oq
Dinwiddie hasn’t played so badly so as to eliminate any hypothetical trade market. His $18 million salary for next year is also pretty reasonable, while only $10 million of his $18.9 million salary for 2023-24 is fully guaranteed.
But the Wizards may not have much leverage at the moment if the level of antipathy toward Dinwiddie from his teammates is out in the open. Given its current priorities, Washington can’t deal him at a major loss because that would mean diminishing its playoff odds even further, thus likely reducing the likelihood of Beal sticking around long term.