Dennis Smith Jr. Trade Rumors: Mavericks Move 'Matter of When, Not If'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2019

Dallas Mavericks' Dennis Smith Jr. in action during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 109-97. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

As the Dallas Mavericks work to smooth things over with Dennis Smith Jr., the second-year point guard is still a prime trade candidate leading up to the Feb. 7 deadline. 

Per Sean Deveney of Sporting News, one source said it was "a matter of when, not if" the Mavs would deal Smith. 

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters Friday that Smith is "welcome to rejoin the team at any time" and they would "love to have him back."

Per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Mavs have had "productive communication" with Smith but aren't expecting him to play on their upcoming two-game road trip against the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks. 

Smith has missed each of Dallas' previous four games. Carlisle said his absence was due to an illness, although Deveney noted that Smith has "butted heads" with his head coach. The 21-year-old has started all 28 games he's played, but he reportedly doesn't like how his role has changed with Luka Doncic's increased involvement in the offense. 

Drafted No. 9 overall in 2017, Smith is having a solid sophomore season. He's averaging 12.6 points per game and is shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range. 

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