Spencer Dinwiddie’s play could be crucial for Pistons


Summer League success and failure doesn’t necessarily translate into regular season success.

Yet Spencer Dinwiddie has looked bad in areas that are only going to get tougher as the competition increases–finishing at the rim, shooting, and taking care of the basketball.

His Summer League numbers- 10.0 points 2.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 4.3 turnovers (12  of which were between two games alone)–  are puzzling considering how well he played at time times last season.

Despite tearing his ACL his final season at Colorado, Diwniddie was able to make a quick enough recovery to play NBA minutes and work his way into an NBA rotation–albeit on a bad team.

He even had games where he flashed enough potential to show that he could be a solid prospect and backup point guard for the Pistons. Just look at his game against the Wizards and John wall– he scored 20 points added four rebounds and eight assists. In another game against the Bulls he registered a double-double scoring 10 points and adding 10 assists.

Most of Dinwiddie’s play during his rookie season produced more bad results than good, but he was also just a rookie coming off an ACL tear, and his minutes and role fluctuated so much that no one could really blame him for playing so inconsistently.

The Pistons need to see more from him.

Not just because he’s a young player who will likely earn a roster spot and playing time next season, but because his play affects how much the Pistons rely on another point guard on the roster, Brandon Jennings.

If Brandon Jennings comes back fully healthy, the Pistons should look to trade him no matter what. He’s on an expiring contract and the Pistons made it clear that he wasn’t in their future plans when they re-signed Reggie Jackson to the biggest deal in franchise history. Unlike Josh Smith and Greg Monroe, it’s time the Pistons finally capitalize on talent that doesn’t fit, instead of letting them walk away for nothing.

But what if Jennings comes back fully healthy, plays his guts out off the bench–because it’s a contract year– and the Pistons are in the midst of a playoff run? Do you really think Van Gundy will trade Jennings if Dinwiddie doesn’t look capable of handling the backup point guard duties at a high level?

I think he’d be reluctant to trade Jennings. Not only because he wants to win now, but because of how valuable playoff experience is for the Pistons, who’s core players are 25 (Jackson), 22 (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope), 21 (Drummond), and 19 (Stanley Johnson)–even though losing Jennings for nothing next offseason would be another huge blow.

Maybe the Pistons could get a lesser, more experienced point guard for Jennings, along with another nice role player at a position of need. I’d rather Dinwiddie turn it around and the Pistons add another strong power forward to the roster–one who can play solid defense an move around–instead of having to rely on the hot and cold Anthony Tolliver and the often injured Ersan Ilyasova.

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