The Washington Wizards had one of the most active offseasons in the NBA this summer. They replaced multiple rotational players with capable contributors and more complementary skill sets.
Although Washington’s most significant and crucial move involved moving Russell Westbrook, the deal Sheppard struck to get Dinwiddie, as well as the decision to draft Corey Kispert, were both just as impactful.
Surrounding their All-Star, Bradley Beal, with players that can cover his defensive woes as well as punish defenses looking to help off Beal was the Wizards’ top priority this offseason and they achieved it with flying colors.
Getting a point guard of Dinwiddie’s caliber for nothing more than second-round picks is impressive, and he can truly impact winning in D.C. That’s what the sign-and-trade was all about, and that’s what the Washington Wizards want to be all about. Winning.
How Spencer Dinwiddie’s skills will help the Washington Wizards
Spencer Dinwiddie is coming off a season to forget, only playing three games before getting sidelined with a season-ending injury. Had Dinwiddie been healthy, the playoffs may have played out differently, but I guess we’ll never know. The facts are that Dinwiddie is in Washington, he’s recovered from what held him out, and he’s ready to compete.
A fully healthy Dinwiddie a nightmare for centers and point-of-attack defenders. Although Dinwiddie struggles from the outside, he is lethal at catching the corner and challenging the trees in the paint. Between 2018 and 2020, Dinwiddie totaled over 2,000 drives, shot 64% from 0-3 feet, and maintained an FTr of 0.434.
At 6-5 with a 6-9 wingspan, Dinwiddie possesses the length, the mobility, and the handle to ease his way past unbalanced defenders and challenge lurking helpers under the rim.
Dinwiddie’s rim pressure will vastly improve the Washington Wizards offense. Although it may sound unattractive that the Wizards added a non-factor from behind the arc (he shot 28.6% from the 3-point zone last season), Dinwiddie’s willingness to get to and finish at the rim will bode well beside the Wizards’ pieces. Dinwiddie can capitalize off Bradley Beal’s drives or create more space for the Wizards’ ancillary components waiting on the outside of under the rim.
Speaking of the Wizards role players, Dinwiddie can help them out just as well as he can Beal. Dinwiddie is a spectacular passer out of pick and roll, possessing the ability to read what the defense is giving him and provide timely deliveries to his roll man or any of the perimeter players getting ready to launch a three.
Dinwiddie was especially good with Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen, finding either one of them when scoring was no longer an option as he approached the rim. He can replicate this production with Gafford and Bertans, Kispert, KCP, Kuzma, or Beal.
In truth, Dinwiddie isn’t the perfect player. His lackluster 3-point totals and underwhelming defensive film means the Wizards will not be getting a lite version of Damian Lillard or Kyrie Irving. However, that doesn’t mean Dinwiddie can’t have an impact on the Washington Wizards. I believe that Dinwiddie’s inside scoring, self-creation, elite pick-and-roll passing, and facilitation will help the Wizards to a top 5 offensive rating in the NBA.
Under Wes Unseld, Washington will have some of the best ball movement in the league and rank in the top percentile in shot quality. With all the looks they’ll generate by driving the ball, the possibilities for their offense are endless. I’m excited to see Spencer Dinwiddie suit up for the Washington Wizards and can’t wait to see how their newly found rim-pressuring tandem translates to the regular season.