The Gabe Vincent signing has not worked out like the Los Angeles Lakers hoped it would. Vincent was fresh off of an NBA Finals push with the Miami Heat in which he played a key role in upsetting several of the Eastern Conference's best teams.
It was a classic case of a middling player getting hot for a few weeks when the stage was the brightest, resulting in a team paying more for them in free agency. If the Miami Heat didn't make it out of the Play-In Tournament then Vincent likely would have signed for close to the league minimum. Instead, he earned a three-year, $33 million contract from the Lakers.
Vincent hasn't had the chance to justify the Lakers spending that much on him as he has missed most of the season with a knee injury. Vincent has played five total games and is still out for the foreseeable future after having surgery on his knee in December.
Despite all of this, the Vincent signing somehow actually just got better for the Lakers. As bad as the move now looks in hindsight, there was one great idea the Lakers had: to save some of the Mid-Level Exception money to make an in-season signing. That decision has paid off, and allowed the Lakers to sign Spencer Dinwiddie.
Lakers sign Spencer Dinwiddie thanks to Gabe Vincent's contract
There were other teams that were competing for Dinwiddie (such as the Dallas Mavericks) and having that extra cash to throw his way definitely made the difference in getting him to Los Angeles. If Vincent had signed a full MLE, or if the Lakers used it on someone else, then adding Dinwiddie would not have been an option.
So at the very least, Dinwiddie can at least replace what Vincent was supposed to be offering for the time being until he gets healthy. If Vincent is not ready to go at any point this season, or in the NBA Playoffs, then Dinwiddie will be there to take his minutes.
While this is all great, the Lakers do still have to pay Vincent a combined $22 million over the next two seasons. If Vincent can return to the player he was in the 2023 NBA Playoffs when he is healthy then that will be a bargain price for him. But at this rate, it still feels like the Lakers overspent for someone who got hot for several weeks.
But at least that overspending didn't get too crazy, because if it did, then the team would not have been able to add Dinwiddie after the deadline.