While most NBA trade rumors are heating up, one situation with the Dallas Mavericks appears to be cooling down. Second-year point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has been the subject of a flurry of trade rumors in recent weeks. The former NC State star has been sidelined for that last five games, but it looks like he is close to returning to the court.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Head Coach Rick Carlisle issued an apology to his young guard over the phone on Sunday.
Sources tell @TheAthletic @WatchStadium: Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle apologized to Dennis Smith Jr. in phone conversation, expressing remorse over situation. The Mavericks have made clear Smith has been positive presence for them. https://t.co/1BJEJrCfxJ— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 21, 2019
Smith’s place with the Mavericks has been in question ever since the team drafted Luka Doncic. With Doncic acting as the primary facilitator on offense, Smith has been left in the cold. A recent season-ending injury to veteran J.J. Barea could open the door for youngster to pick up lead-guard duties with the second unit.
Regardless of how Smith’s relationship with the Carlisle shakes out, the Mavericks remain as a team to watch at the trade deadline.