Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie again merges cryptocurrency with his NBA future

Sporting News

Spencer Dinwiddie is trying to get fans to invest in him again.

This time, the Nets guard is asking them to put up a large (and highly specific) amount of money in Bitcoin as part of a GoFundMe campaign. The "reward" is that Dinwiddie will sign a one-year contract with a team of the fans' choosing when he becomes a free agent, which could happen as early as July 2021.

That's quite the flex by Dinwiddie in assuming any team would take him. He has been a fine player for Brooklyn, but could, say, the Clippers make cap room for him? But that's getting way ahead of ourselves. First, the fans need to come up with a huge bag: $24,632,630 (or 2625.8 BTC).

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As they like to say on Twitter, we have questions. Let's start with these four: Why $24,632,630? Why now, when the league is bracing for big revenue dips into 2021? Would the league even allow it? Why do it at all?

Dinwiddie offered some answers in a statement posted by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium:

Dinwiddie has kept a sharp eye on Bitcoin and blockchain technology over the past several years, as he described in a clip posted on Coindesk.com's Twitter feed. He was listed as a speaker at Consensus: Distributed, a five-day cryptocurrency and blockchain seminar that ended Friday.

The answer to the NBA question is "Maybe, but with reservations."

The league took a dim view of Dinwiddie's other crypto-based product last fall: Investors would purchase up to 90 SD8 coins totaling about $13.5 million (or about $150,000 per coin) as a business loan. That total is more than his $10.6 million salary for this season, the first in a three-year, $34.4 million contract.

The NBA's main issue, according to Forbes.com in January, was that Dinwiddie was dangling the possibility of investors scoring big if he were to opt out of the third year of the contract ($12.3 million) next July and receive a big bump in salary in his next contract. Dinwiddie told Forbes the NBA threatened to terminate his contract over that.

"Pretty much what they said was that the player option was gambling, and that would’ve been cause for termination," Dinwiddie told Forbes' Shlomo Sprung. Dinwiddie eventually withdrew the player option portion in exchange for being able to go through with the initial offering.

(UPDATE: CBSSports.com laid out all the ways Dinwiddie's GoFundMe violates NBA salary cap rules, in both letter and spirit.)

Dinwiddie, 27, became a starter for the Nets this season because of Kyrie Irving's shoulder injury. He's averaging 20.6 points and 6.8 assists, both career highs.

If the GoFundMe campaign falls short, Dinwiddie says, then he will donate the proceeds to charity (he was up to $479 as of midnight Friday).

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