In a way, it is fitting that the two players that the Brooklyn Nets received in Sunday's blockbuster Kyrie Irving trade are a 3-and-D guy who went undrafted and a playmaker who was selected in the second round. The latter, Spencer Dinwiddie, is one of the Nets' success stories from before they were a superteam -- they called him up from the G League in 2016, and he helped recruit Irving in 2019. Last May, a couple of weeks after Brooklyn was swept by the Boston Celtics, team president Sean Marks said the team had to go back to "doing some of the things that got us here in the first place."
If the Nets make no more moves before Thursday's trade deadline, then they have willingly sacrificed star power and scoring for lineup flexibility and a sense of stability. Dorian Finney-Smith is an ideal supporting character for a Kevin Durant-led team. Dinwiddie is not the pantheon-level one-on-one scorer that Irving is, but Brooklyn knows better than anybody what he can do when the floor is spaced and the ball is in his hands. Finney-Smith is signed through 2025, with a player option the following season, and Dinwiddie is signed through 2023-24.
It is notable, though, that the Nets did not wait until deadline day to complete this trade, like they did when James Harden wanted out last year. By moving Irving earlier, they can use the picks they got from the Dallas Mavericks in other deals. If they do not make the trade official right away, they could even flip Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith together in exchange for another star, as The Athletic's John Hollinger pointed out.