What Seth Curry’s Injury Means For Dennis Smith Jr.’s Rookie Season

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Seth Curry experienced something of a renaissance during the 2016-2017 NBA season, validating the faith of the Dallas Mavericks in the form of a breakout season. Curry, who is now 27 years old, averaged 12.8 points per game for the Mavs a season ago and, perhaps more importantly, the talented guard knocked down 42.5 percent of his attempts from beyond the three-point arc.

As the 2017-2018 season approaches, though, there has been a school of thought that some of Curry’s playing time may go to rookie lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr. and, on Saturday, word broke that Curry suffered an unfortunate injury that could have an impact.

A stress fracture of this kind is not ideal by any means and, given the fuzziness of the reporting about a return timetable, it is probably safe to be on the more conservative side when projecting his comeback. With that in mind, the Mavericks now have a shorthanded situation in the backcourt, with Smith Jr. joined by only Yogi Ferrell, J.J. Barea and Devin Harris.

Make no mistake, Smith Jr. was absolutely going to be given every opportunity to succeed and prosper in his rookie season, simply because of the massive draft investment in his future. At the same time, the absence of a player like Curry opens things up even more and, aside from Wesley Matthews (who can also play shooting guard), head coach Rick Carlisle is not blessed with an abundance of options.

There was plenty of momentum behind Dennis Smith Jr. as something of a “sleeper” Rookie of the Year candidate after a big-time performance at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. With this unfavorable news on Curry, that candidacy could emerge even clearer and the Mavericks might have to get creative to fill the gaps vacated by arguably the team’s best perimeter shooter.