In the 2017 draft, the Dallas Mavericks selected guard Dennis Smith Jr. ninth overall. His freakish athleticism and play during the 2017 Summer League games made him a sensation. The Mavericks seemed to have a nice player to build with. Fasting forward to present day, Smith Jr. could be on his way out. Questions about Smith Jr. playing alongside rookie sensation Luka Doncic as risen. Doncic’s play has affected Smith Jr’s standings with the team. Currently, Smith Jr. (12.6 points per game) is averaging nearly 3 points per game less than his rookie season (15.2 points per game).
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Mavericks had trade discussions with the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic. More teams could join in the pursuit of Smith Jr., who has a promising career ahead of him. Which team has the better advantage of landing Smith Jr.? Who else should join the race? Let’s explore those questions.
Dysfunction in Dallas: Dennis Smith Jr. Trade Rumors
The Suns are building a roster for the future. Adding Smith Jr. will give them another young and exciting player to build with. The Mavericks should replace him with other young players. One player the Suns could send to the Mavericks is Josh Jackson. He is lost in the shuffle in the Suns rotation. He has not made the impact the Suns were hoping for after picking him fourth overall in the 2017 draft. Jackson could be a serviceable back-up to Harrison Barnes. This seems like a fair exchange but, Smith Jr. will face similar issues. The Suns run their offense through breakout player Devin Booker. Smith will put up similar points with the Suns. His primary objectives are scoring and make plays. He will not live up to expectations in Phoenix.
Like the Suns, the Magic are a young team looking to build a foundation for the future. The Magic are in desperate need of guards. Smith Jr. will fit in perfectly. His style of play is what the Magic need in order to climb. He will have more scoring opportunities. However, the trade will cost the Magic a key player. The Mavericks could ask for Aaron Gordon in return. Gordon is the second on the team in scoring and rebounds. He is the only forward who is averaging double figures in scoring. Gordon is the most attractive player that fits into the Mavericks needs. The Mavericks could throw in Wesley Matthews to offset Gordon’s departure. Overall, this trade will be a win for both Smith Jr. and the Mavericks.
Other teams could join in the pursuit of Smith Jr. as they are in need of a solid backcourt player. The teams that should be in trade discussions are the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks. Both teams desperately need scoring and playmakers at the guard position. The Knicks would be a better trading partner. They have players, such as Tim Hardaway Jr., whose contract needs to be moved. Also, they have the better talent that the Mavericks wouldn’t mind having in return.
Smith Jr. will be dealt near the trade deadline. The Mavericks should listen to other offers before making a move. He can blossom into a good player in the right situation. The Magic will be a perfect place for him. He will make an immediate impact. The Knicks are in second place in that category. The race towards the future is on.