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Why was Spencer Dinwiddie at Thursday’s Mavericks-Knicks game?

The Mavs and the Lakers are reportedly two of the teams who will try to sign Dinwiddie in the buyout market after Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline.

Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Perhaps the Brian Windhorst meme would have been more appropriate art to accompany this wildly speculative post that is sure to leave you with more questions than answers.

But why exactly was Spencer Dinwiddie at the Mavericks game Thursday against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden? Not that he’s not allowed. I’d love to catch a game at the Garden someday. He could be seen on the TNT broadcast sitting a few rows behind the Mavs bench, often checking his phone when the cameras caught him. Dinwiddie is just like us!

The timing of it all was certainly coincidental, wasn’t it? He was dealt by Brooklyn to the Raptors earlier in the day in the deal that sent Dennis Schroder and Thad Young back to the Nets. Then, less than 30 minutes later, he was reportedly waived by the Raptors, due in no small part to a looming $ 20 million roster bonus Dinwiddie would be due if he had reached a certain number of games played.

Obviously there was no need for him to leave New York after he was waived, but when that happened, Dinwiddie immediately became one of the more interesting available assets on the buyout market. And Mavs fans certainly have fond memories of Dinwiddie’s time in Dallas.

The below tweet was pretty cool to see from this Texas-based juice joint before the game, as the Mavs and Lakers emerged as two of the teams most interested in landing Dinwiddie’s services at a more team-friendly rate in the buyout market.

The vibes between Dinwiddie and the Mavs fanbase are immaculate, no doubt. But he has regressed since he left Dallas for Brooklyn, and Mavs Moneyball’s Kirk Henderson mentioned on Thursday’s postgame episode of Pod Maverick that the vibes inside the locker room during his time in Dallas may not have been quite as immaculate.

Dinwiddie is averaging just 12.6 points per game this year and has been a woefully inefficient shooter. He’s hitting just 39.1% of his field goal attempts and just 32% of his 3-point attempts in 48 games this season.

But even Jason Kidd seemed to lend air to the curiosity when he referred to adding “two, maybe three players” at and/or following the trade deadline in his postgame comments after the Mavs got their third straight win on their current East Coast swing.

So the fans want him back. The media thinks the Mavs will be in on him. The coach may or may not have coyly referred to the possibility of reuniting with Dinwiddie with barely more than a wink and a nod. But we’re no closer yet on our search for why he was there in the crowd on Thursday, mixing with Gen Pop.

He does have friends on the Mavericks. MSG is just a 15-minute subway away from Brooklyn, or maybe Dinwiddie’s place was in Manhattan anyway, who knows. The point is it wasn’t a lot of trouble for him to get there. And, you know, it’s never not a good time to talk to your good friends who own roughly 26 percent of and retain control of basketball operations over an NBA franchise, especially immediately after you’ve been yeeted into roundball oblivion on trade deadline day.

Dinwiddie was seen in the pregame down on the floor, talking with Mark Cuban, who owned a controlling stake in the team during the two years when Dinwiddie was on the Mavericks roster. But how much should anyone really be making of that? It was probably just pleasantries, right? Right?

So did Dinwiddie show up to see old friends? Did he show up to hear Cuban’s wink-wink, nod-nod elevator pitch for potential buyout market possibilities? Did he simply show up as a basketball fan? Was he getting dinner next door and found a scalper with a good one?

Or are the Mavs definitely bringing Spence home to see if Luka Dončić can unlock him once more?

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