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Spencer Dinwiddie is back in Brooklyn — and so is his sense of humor.
Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith joined the Nets on Tuesday after they were acquired from the Mavericks in the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Dallas. And when Dinwiddie, who played for the Nets from 2016-21, walked into their introductory press conference, he noted, “Hey, there’s more of you than there used to be.”
He explained the acquisition of him and Finney-Smith: “I understand that we might not be the best trade package, but we’re the best looking. And the Nets need some help in that department.”
Clearly Dinwiddie has kept the same wit he flashed during is first stint in Brooklyn. In some ways, it was his torn ACL just three games into his final season off 2020-21 that set the Nets down the path they’ve been on. That season-ending injury precipitated the Nets’ trade for James Harden.
Dinwiddie was traded to Washington in August 2021, then moved on to Dallas, and now is back where his ascension to legitimate NBA starter began.
“That was crazy cause we were rolling people through preseason, through the first couple games, I got hurt, then obviously the trade went down, understandably so. Being in win-now mode, when you’ve got possibly the greatest scorer of all time. It’s a blessing to play competitive basketball,” Dinwiddie said. “I have no interest in playing losing basketball and understand the type of talent we have.
“It’s gonna be fun, and yeah to a degree it is a second bite of the apple. And although I wanted to win one for Dallas, obviously there’s a certain level of pride there would be to bring a championship to Brooklyn over any other organization in the league. … It’d still be more prideful doing it here, just because in a lot of ways it made my career. So, proud to be back, happy to be back and always appreciative.”
Finney-Smith — who grew up near his new teammate Cam Thomas in Virginia, and said the Nets guard has always been “a bucket” — is a defense-minded forward who can guard 3 through 5.
“I plan on guarding the best player on the court, I take the challenge in that,” Finney-Smith said. “You ain’t got to draw up a play for me. I’m going to find ways to get involved and be aggressive. Just a winning mentality, I’m going to bring that to the team.”
Dinwiddie gushed over Finney-Smith, saying: “[He] picks up full court, guards a big, shoots 40 percent from 3 in a normal year, rangy, athletic. I ain’t met a guy he can’t guard … outside of me.”
Cam Thomas, after scoring 43 points in the Nets’ 116-112 loss to the Suns on Tuesday night, is the youngest player in NBA history to score 40 or more points in three consecutive games, at 21 years, 117 days. He’s the first player in the Nets’ NBA history to top 40 in three straight.
Ben Simmons returned to the Nets’ lineup after missing the previous five games with left knee soreness, but he was underwhelming.
He played 26:30, but scored just two points. He did finish with four rebounds and six assists, but also turned the ball over four times.
The Nets acquired the draft rights to David Michineau, 28, from the Kings in exchange for Kessler Edwards and cash. Michineau, who was drafted by the Pelicans in the second round in 2016, plays for Napoli Basket in Italy’s Lega Basket Serie A.
Two-way David Duke Jr. will participate in the G-League Next Up Game on Feb. 19 (3 p.m.) during All-Star Weekend.