Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie agree to contract extension

NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets gave Spencer Dinwiddie a contract extension Thursday, a day after the best game of his career.

The three-year extension will be worth about $34 million for the guard who was playing in the NBA G League before he signed with the Nets on Dec. 8, 2016.

He has gone on to become one of their top players and scored a career-high 39 points, the most by any player off the bench in the NBA this season, in a victory at Philadelphia on Wednesday.

“The journey is just beginning,” Dinwiddie wrote on Twitter. “I’m thankful that @brooklynnets believe in me enough to give me a home.”

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Not to mention a nice raise from the $1.7 million he’s making this season.

Dinwiddie was third in voting for the Most Improved Player last season and could find himself in the race for the Sixth Man of the Year award this season. He is averaging 16.9 points, helping the Nets overcome the loss of scoring leader Caris LeVert to injury.

“It’s just so evident, you can’t take him out and he’s playing great basketball,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said after Wednesday’s win. “Obviously, he’s our engine right now, especially in the second half. All the work he’s done, he’s come a long way. He deserves it.”

Dinwiddie became eligible to sign an extension last week but it was unclear if the Nets would offer one, which would cut into the cap space that will be available to them this summer. But Dinwiddie has played well enough on the court and been one of the team’s leaders off it, so they decided it was worth it to pay now.

The third year of the deal is a player option and all three years are guaranteed.

Dinwiddie was originally a second-round pick of Detroit in 2014 but spent his first couple seasons with the Pistons and Chicago Bulls going back and forth from the G League. His big opportunity came last season when the Nets lost point guards Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell to injuries and he went on to average 12.6 points.

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