“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. So obviously it’s pretty concrete that I’m gonna opt out.”
As for how Dinwiddie is doing now, the guard reported that he has "had one of the more successful ACL recoveries in history."
The 28-year-old averaged a career-high 20.6 points and 6.8 assists in 2019-20 for Brooklyn, who signed the then-free agent in Dec. 2016.
Dinwiddie's injury was reported to be season-ending at the time, but the guard has hope he can return during the Nets' playoff run, saying “I want to return for the playoffs.”
Sprung expanded on the possibility:
"Brooklyn is known to be rather cautious with the timetables to return for its injured players. But Dinwiddie is hopeful that he can be cleared for basketball activities over the next several weeks and then ramp-up his conditioning so he can be ready to help the Nets this season in their quest for their first NBA championship."
The Nets brass may be more bearish on the prospects, with head coach Steve Nash saying on May 4 a return this season was "unlikely."
Nets general manager Sean Marks discussed Dinwiddie's injury on April 14:
“He’s in great hands rehabbing and progressing well in Los Angeles. We know the staff that he's working there well. Again it goes back to me just saying I would never bet against Spencer Dinwiddie. I think the primary concern for Spencer is his long-term health. Not do anything that's detrimental to his career or his career longevity. So if there's an opportunity for him to come back and play during this playoffs we'll have to evaluate at that time.”
A successful playoff run could certainly help Dinwiddie's cause when he presumably enters free agency in the summer of 2021.
If he shows that he's healthy and anywhere close to his 2019-20 form, then he should be earning more than the $12.3 million he was slated to get next year.
Dinwiddie could benefit from the fact that the Nets may be going on a run to the NBA Finals. They're currently second in the Eastern Conference and clearly in contention to be the Eastern Conference's representative in the championship round, which will take place in July. That could buy more time for Dinwiddie to return and contribute, even if it's on a restricted-minute basis.