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The Mavericks’ ‘Plan A’ Is Reportedly Keeping Dennis Smith Jr. In Dallas


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The Dallas Mavericks are caught in a rather awkward situation when it comes to starting guard Dennis Smith Jr. While the team has a budding superstar in Luka Doncic, Smith was their first-round pick in 2017 and has been asked to defer playmaking duties to the precocious guard. It’s led to some wondering about Smith’s future in Dallas, with some teams reportedly looking into whether a trade is possible.

We’ll have to see what happens in the coming days, as Smith oozes talent and turned 21 back in November, meaning his best basketball is theoretically ahead of him. However, despite the fact that Smith sounds like he wants out, that doesn’t gel with what the Mavericks reportedly want.

According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Dallas hopes to figure out a solution to this that keeps Smith in the Lonestar State.

Via ESPN:

The Mavs have shopped Smith throughout the season but haven’t received any offers that have tempted them to pull the trigger on trading a 21-year-old that the Dallas front office still believes has potential to develop into a star, sources said.

“Plan A is still to fix this,” a team source told ESPN.

Smith has recently expressed that he hopes to be traded, and he is frustrated with his role as Rookie of the Year frontrunner Luka Doncic has seized the reins of the offense and has had friction with coach Rick Carlisle, sources said.

According to Tim Cato of The Athletic, this report is indeed true, although there’s a gigantic caveat: Dallas wants to bring Smith back in the role they want him to play.

It’s an interesting report, especially considering the fact that MacMahon mentioned on ESPN’s Hoop Collective podcast that Dallas is struggling to find good value for Smith, because everyone in the league knows the Mavericks aren’t negotiating from a position of power.

While Smith’s scoring, rebounds, assists, and minutes per game are all down this season, he has made steps forward, as he’s become a more efficient shooter during his second year in the Association. Smith is averaging 12.6 points, 3.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 27.7 minutes per game, averaging 44.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.5 percent shooting from three.

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