While the Dallas Mavericks are seemingly weighing whether or not to trade second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr., many believe that it’s bound to happen sooner or later. But for now, the team is navigating a tough situation as Smith has been away from the team for various reasons as of late. Although a trade seems to be likely at this moment, two of the top reported teams with interest may be backpedaling a bit.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported, the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic have both “engaged talks” with the Mavericks on Smith. While a pairing with either team could make a lot of sense for the explosive young point guard, there’s some reason to believe a deal with either team may not happen.
Sean Deveney of Sporting News revealed that the teams currently in a rebuild, such as the Suns and Magic specifically, have a preference to wait until free agency to make a move. He proceeded to cite two intriguing names as potential fits/players of interest for the teams.
“Orlando and Phoenix have been mentioned as possible Smith suitors — the preference is to take aim at young restricted free agents like Terry Rozier or D’Angelo Russell this summer rather than gamble on whether Smith can develop into a point guard.”
Terry Rozier & D’Angelo Russell’s Fit With Suns
Both Terry Rozier and D’Angelo Russell are bound to draw a ton of interest in free agency this offseason, but if the Suns are in the mix they’ll have a decent pitch for both. With a young core that includes Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and TJ Warren, among others, the upside for this team is apparent.
Rozier has been locked into a bench role behind Kyrie Irving but thrived last season when his teammate was sidelined through the end of the year and the postseason. It’s expected that Rozier will be a popular target for teams, and the Boston Celtics are unlikely to be able to match whatever offer comes his way.
As for Russell, the Brooklyn Nets guard has come into his own in a big way this year. Through 45 games he’s averaged 18.5 points and 6.4 assists in just 29.5 minutes per game. He’s also shooting a career-best 43.0 percent from the field and while Russell is still growing as a player, he’s only 22 years old and has given glimpses of an extremely high ceiling.
Latest on Dennis Smith Jr. Trade
It’s been a bit of a hectic back-and-forth between the Mavericks and their young point guard. On Thursday, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported the team was hoping to reconcile with Smith and not trade him barring “good value” coming back in exchange.
The Dallas Mavericks are optimistic that they can reconcile and move forward with point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and are insistent they won’t trade their 2017 lottery pick unless they get good value in return, sources told ESPN.
But shortly after that report came to light, Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com steered the ship in the other direction, citing a source who stated that Smith believes it’s best if he’s traded.
‘Rick was always hard on DSJ. Maybe too hard. But in the last couple of weeks, something changed. And yeah, Dennis thinks it’d be best if he’s traded.’ Fisher tweeted from a source close to the situation.
Time will tell, but for now, it seems Smith will remain with the Mavericks until a trade offer they deem to be a fair value for the former first-round pick comes around.