Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie successfully underwent surgery to repair the partially torn ACL in his right knee Monday morning and is expected to start the rehab process next week, the team announced. Dinwiddie suffered the injury during the third game of the season against the Charlotte Hornets, when he landed awkwardly on his right leg after driving to the basket against Bismack Biyombo.
The seven-year guard had the best year of his career last season, where he averaged 20.6 points, 6.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds as the starting point guard for a majority of games while Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert missed chunks of the season. Dinwiddie hadn't played since March, as he didn't travel with the team down to the Orlando bubble to play in the NBA restart.
The loss of Dinwiddie is already starting to take its toll for a Nets team that started the season strong, but has since gone 1-4 in his absence. Having Irving and Kevin Durant makes Brooklyn a contender, but in the last few games it has been apparent that this team is missing Dinwiddie's consistent offensive performance every night. He was the perfect complement to play alongside Irving in the backcourt, as he can take on any identity you need him to. He can be a starter and play off the ball while Irving dictates the offense, which had been his role prior to getting injured, or he can come off the bench and lead the second unit, which is what he's typically known for.
While it remains to be seen how the Nets go about replacing Dinwiddie's production, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports that Brooklyn plans on applying for a disabled player exception worth $5.7 million following Dinwiddie's season-ending injury.
Dinwiddie can get to the rim pretty much at will, can knock down mid-range shots and connect on the occasional 3-pointer, despite his mediocre shooting averages from beyond the arc. He was part of the tremendous depth Brooklyn possessed, which made it so dangerous for other teams.
The Nets still have incredible depth, but they don't have another guard who can fill the role of Dinwiddie and can adapt to whatever the team needs on a given night. The season is still young, and there's still plenty of time for another player to step up in his absence, but there's no denying that losing Dinwiddie is a huge blow for Brooklyn.