The Dallas Mavericks could be quite busy ahead of the trade deadline. The team is “escalating discussions” to try and find a trade for second-year point guard Dennis Smith Jr., according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. So far they’ve had discussions with both the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic, per Wojnarowski.
The 21-year-old Smith was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, but the Mavericks have apparently already decided that he doesn’t fit with the direction the team is headed. Primarily, there are concerns about whether Smith can be a long-term fit next to the Mavericks’ face of the future, Luka Doncic.
Doncic primarily operates as a point forward when he’s on the floor, and has already established himself as the team’s best player. Smith, meanwhile, is not the best at playing off-ball, and the Mavericks haven’t fared well when they play together.
For the season, the Mavs’ net rating is minus-five points per 100 possessions in 687 minutes with Doncic and Smith on the court. While in the 659 minutes Doncic has played without Smith, the Mavericks are outscoring their opponents by by 3.1 points per 100 possessions. That’s obviously a huge difference.
It’s unclear exactly what the market will be for Smith. There aren’t a ton of teams in the league who need a point guard, and the Mavericks are selling pretty low on the former top-10 pick. Still, it might be worthwhile for a team like the Suns or Magic to take a flier on him considering their dire point guard situations.
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