Call him "The Mayor," the nickname given to Colorado combo guard Spencer Dinwiddie because of his calm demeanor, his mature mustache, and of course his exceptional ability to run the show on and off the court. Unfortunately, the 21-year-old's stock took a huge blow after he tore his ACL in January.
Despite the injury, the Boston Celtics remain interested since he visited them on June 14th, one day after workouts featuring some of the NBA Draft's top prospects at the guard position. Dinwiddie might not be in the conversation as a lottery pick, but he certainly has the talent as I have him ranked highly on my big board.
If the Celtics are looking for a steal late in the first round, or even the early second, then Dinwiddie could be a perfect target. To preview my 2014 NBA Draft Guide, here is my full scouting report of the junior guard.
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What Others Are Saying
Spencer Dinwiddie analyzes his own game: "I'm a 6-6 point guard and I'm a 6-6 point guard that is a point guard, not a shooting guard that's trying to be a point guard; a guy who scores and passes it at the last second. I'm a guy who understands controlling pace and getting the ball to the right places, playing an unselfish brand of basketball. At the same time, I'm a guy because he's 6-6, 205, he's strong, has the versatility to play three positions and I shot over 40% two of my three college years, so I can obviously shoot the ball, which means I can play off the ball and I'm not a guy who's dedicated to playing with the ball because I'm open to playing off the ball. A guy who's doing to do whatever it takes to win and that's how he's gonna play and he's gonna bring that versatility and that commitment."
Spencer Dinwiddie on what he needs to work on: "Continue to be a knockdown shooter -- dead eye, when it leaves my hand it's a bucket -- and if I have any type of space I can probably quicken my release a little bit. Play lower, and probably pressure on defense more."
How Can Boston Draft Dinwiddie?
If they're crazy, they could just take him right at #17; he might be worth it. But more realistically, they'd have to acquire a pick late in the first round or the early second in order to draft him. Dinwiddie has had two meetings with the Detroit Pistons, who pick at #38, so acquiring a pick before then might be necessary.
Why Would Boston Draft Dinwiddie?
- Versatility: The first quote above from Dinwiddie himself says it all really. Dinwiddie brings flexibility in that he can play either guard position (on both ends of the floor), which is absolutely a huge a bonus in Brad Stevens' motion offense. When you're looking for guards that play this style, he fits like a glove.
- Upside: I truly think Dinwiddie would be in the conversation as a borderline lottery pick if he hadn't torn his ACL, which is precisely why I had him ranked at #21 in my draft guide; his stock took a slight bump, but nothing major. If he truly falls into the second round, teams are looking at immense value with the selection. Put it this way: Picking Embiid at #6 is a lot "safer" than it is at #1, just as picking Dinwiddie at #27 is a lot "safer" than picking him at #17. You're still getting the same player, but the value is much higher.
- Intelligence: Listen to any interview with Dinwiddie and you'll hear how smart, articulate, and advanced his knowledge of the game is. It's actually quite fascinating to hear a player refer to "efficiency rating" or "Synergy" or "auxiliary" when discussing how they play their game and can improve on it. Not that these terms are advanced by any means, but players so often drop basic lines line, "I just need to improve my confidence," which is total bull because confidence comes as a result as improved production. Dinwiddie is a guy with that mindset, which, again, totally fits Brad Stevens' process-oriented philosophy.
Should Boston Draft Dinwiddie?
For me, the answer is yes...but not at #17. There are a handful of players I like more at that spot and I'd prefer to see a trade up instead of a trade down, but if the Celtics don't pick a guard with either of their first two picks, then Spencer Dinwiddie is a perfect option in the late first round. If Boston were able to acquire a pick between #25 and #37, I think he'd be an ideal player to look at.
I just look at Dinwiddie's skills and I'm seeing a player that should pan out to be an NBA player provided the mental make-up is there to support it, which I think it is. He might not be a star like he was at Colorado, but he brings enough to be a complimentary scorer who can occasionally have a big night. The league will always need guys like that, and I think he'd be a perfect fit in a system like Boston.