Spencer Dinwiddie is hoping to return to the Nets for the playoffs

Spencer Dinwiddie was presumed out for the season with a torn ACL, but he is apparently planning a return to the Nets’ lineup for the playoffs.

Since acquiring James Harden, the Brooklyn Nets have rarely had their “Big 3” on the floor together. But they should be healthy together when it matters most in the playoffs. In addition to that, guard Spencer Dinwiddie has suggested he has his eye on a return come playoff time.

Over the weekend, Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported word from Nets head coach Steve Nash that Dinwiddie is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a torn right ACL. So the door is not closed on a return.

Dinwiddie has not played since the third game of the season on Dec. 27. It’s important to note the surgery to repair the injury was tabbed as an ACL reconstruction, not a repair. The fact he was unlikely to play again this season didn’t prevent interest in him heading into the trade deadline, as other teams eyed securing his Bird Rights for a multi-year deal this offseason. The Nets may simply not be able to keep him once he inevitably declines his player option for next season.

What will Spencer Dinwiddie bring to the Nets if he can return?

Last season, Dinwiddie was Brooklyn’s second-leading scorer behind Kyrie Irving (20.6 points per game) and the team’s leading assist man (6.8 per game, narrowly over Irving’s 6.4). Better efficiency would have been nice (30.8 percent from 3-point range), but Dinwiddie showed he had a place as a third guy to go with Irving and Kevin Durant this season.

The addition of Harden takes away the role Dinwiddie had as a secondary scorer and ball-handler early on before he was injured. But a shift into more of a sixth-man role, assuming all three big stars are healthy, looks ideal for him. If he can return for the playoffs, of course. But there’s optimism Dinwiddie will be available, at the time of the year the Nets want to be at full strength.

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