Dennis Smith Jr. has not played for the Mavericks for a little while now.
Doesn’t seem like he’ll be playing anytime soon either.
“Rick is hard on point guards,” a source with knowledge of happenings within the Dallas Mavericks’ locker room told me today.
“It is like Rajon Rondo and Carlisle part two.”
“He weighed on players on the Indiana Pacers the same way,” another league source told me.
“Carlisle gets to you after a while.”
Smith is averaging 12.6 points, 3.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game, down from 15.2 points, 5.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game during his second-team All-Rookie campaign.
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.
The No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Smith Jr. has fallen out of favor in Dallas because of the emergence of Luka Doncic.
Earlier this week, there were discussions between the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks on a trade sending Smith to the Big Apple, I’m told.
In those discussions. Smith Jr. and Wes Matthews were tossed around for Tim Hardaway Jr. & Frank Ntilikina.
Those discussions are on hold, at least for now.
“Dennis Smith is not here, but I want to let everyone know, that I reached out to him and his agent last night to let them know when he is feeling better, he is welcome to rejoin the team at any time, Dallas Mavericks head coach, Rick Carlisle said after Friday morning’s shoot around.
“We would love to have him back. In his year and a half here, he has started every game that he has been available to play and during that period of time. He has experienced significant growth on both sides of the ball, and I am very proud of the progress that he has made. That is where we are, and I don’t expect him to be on this trip, but again, I think he is a part of this team and we love to have him back.”