Injured point guard Spencer Dinwiddie said he wants to return for the Nets’ postseason run, marking the fastest ACL recovery ever.
In a far-ranging interview with Forbes, Dinwiddie also said he intends to opt out of his contact this offseason, although that doesn’t preclude a return to Brooklyn.
After suffering a partially torn right ACL on Dec. 28, Dinwiddie is well ahead of the usual eight-to-12 month recovery timetable. And while the guard clearly won’t be ready when the playoffs tip off May 22, he’s hoping to get cleared for basketball activities over the next several weeks. An optimistic five-month timeframe could line up with the Eastern Conference Finals.
“I know Brooklyn and (general manager) Sean (Marks) definitely wouldn’t want me giving out anything official,” Dinwiddie said, adding unofficially, “I want to return for the playoffs.
“If you could be the fastest ACL recovery in history at five months, that puts you at June and gives you several weeks to get in shape,” he said. “That’s just me throwing something at the wall.”
For his part, Dinwiddie was complimentary of Nets orthopedic surgeon Dr. Riley Williams – who performed the procedure at HSS – and the communication between Marks, the Nets performance staff and his rehab team in Los Angeles.
Dinwiddie also was transparent about opting out of the final $12.3 million season of his three-year deal to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
“I’m gonna be more than healthy by the time free agency starts, so just from a dollars perspective you kind of have to,” Dinwiddie said. “$12 million isn’t market value for a starting point guard. It’s probably about half, 20-25 (million.) So obviously it’s pretty concrete that I’m gonna opt out.”
Which of course doesn’t mean Dinwiddie is sure to leave the Nets, since they could use his Bird Rights and go over the cap to keep him.
“If Brooklyn wants to use my Bird Rights and sign me, I’d be thankful to be back and be able to go and try to win, hopefully, a second championship,” Dinwiddie said. “And if not, then as an unrestricted free agent you can kinda choose where you wanna go. It’s an interesting situation to be in.”
Brooklyn inked Mike James for the remainder of the season. The guard capped his second and final 10-day contract with 11 points and seven assists Tuesday in Chicago, and a dozen points and five dimes in his first Nets start Wednesday vs. San Antonio. He’s expected to rejoin CSKA Moscow next season.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had been linked to the Nets job before Steve Nash got hired, but addressed the report Wednesday night in his typical style.
“(That) had no foundation in reality,” Popovich told the San Antonio Express-News. “I don’t know where the hell that came from.”