Bulls' Dinwiddie hoping for consistent opportunity

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bulls guard Spencer Dinwiddie drives toward the basket during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Chicago.

    Chicago Bulls guard Spencer Dinwiddie drives toward the basket during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Chicago.

 
 
Updated 10/7/2016 7:21 PM

The Bulls have seen Spencer Dinwiddie play like a rising star. A couple of times, in fact.

Not everyone has, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

One of Dinwiddie's most memorable games during his two years with Detroit was on Feb. 20, 2015 when he rang up 12 points, 9 assists and 3 steals against Derrick Rose and the Bulls. He also had a 10-point, 10-assist game at the United Center later that season.

Those two games, plus a 20-point effort against Washington, were pretty much the extent of Dinwiddie's Detroit highlight reel. So after the third-year guard led the Bulls with 19 point and 6 rebounds at Indiana on Thursday, one obvious question is why hasn't he done that more often?

"I just had inconsistent playing time. Inconsistent opportunity will breed inconsistent play," Dinwiddie said Friday at the Advocate Center. "That's pretty much all there was to it. I didn't get to play much and then when I did, it was a mixed bag. I was a little hesitant.

"Given consistent minutes I believe I can be a player in this league, like a lot of people do. But I feel like I've proven that to some extent and look forward to continuing to prove that."

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It's only two games into preseason, but Dinwiddie has shown enough to suggest maybe he's the Bulls' best bet for backup point guard. Jerian Grant was expected to handle that role heading into camp.

At 6-6, Dinwiddie has the size to finish in the lane and he makes things easier defensively because he can switch onto wing players without creating a size mismatch.

"He had good decision-making," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We want that consistency, especially with that backup guard spot. We want to see who's going to go out there and bring it on a nightly basis. We'll continue to give all those guys opportunities to see who deserves that spot."

The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie this summer in a trade for Cameron Bairstow, who is playing in his native Australia this season. Dinwiddie was a second-round pick of the Pistons in 2014. He was widely expected to be a first-rounder, but tore the ACL in his left knee in January of his junior year at Colorado. He turned pro despite the injury and was able to participate in most of training camp as a rookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Just before summer league, the Bulls released Dinwiddie to clear cap space to sign Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. When no team claimed the Los Angeles native, the Bulls re-signed Dinwiddie to a minimum contract once he cleared waivers.

Asked if the transaction was a surprise, Dinwiddie didn't want to comment.

"It's OK man," he said. "In the scope of things, I'd probably cut myself, too (to sign Wade)."

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