Following an initial report from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor on Friday about Orlando and Phoenix being interested in Dennis Smith Jr., it seems like talks have ramped up even further.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Dallas Mavericks have escalated trade discussions about moving the No. 9 pick from the 2017 draft as Luka Doncic continues to emerge as their star.
The Dallas Mavericks are escalating discussions to find a trade for point guard Dennis Smith Jr., league sources tell ESPN. Phoenix and Orlando have engaged in ongoing talks with Mavs. Smith Jr., has sat out three straight games with what team has termed a sore back.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 15, 2019
Some might ask why the Suns would pursue Smith Jr. if he doesn’t mesh well with Doncic, but he fits the identity this team is seemingly trying to build from the ground up. Smith Jr. not only is an above-average catch-and-shoot threat with a career 37.4 percent success rate, but he’s averaging three deflections per 36 minutes, which is tied with known defensive pest Jrue Holiday.
Smith Jr. would also have to buy in being more off the ball throughout his career, if he were to stick around long term in Phoenix. Booker, another jumbo-sized playmaker like Doncic, would have the ball in his hands almost every possession. There could be moments where Smith Jr. is just asked to sit in the corner while Booker operates on the perimeter. If he could buy into such a role, the fit actually makes sense as the Suns’ front office puts the finishing touches on their young core.
What deal even makes sense for someone of Smith Jr.’s caliber? Well, it seems like his value league-wide could be at an all-time low, so maybe they could swindle Dallas. The thing is, with this report from Woj, it seems like Dallas is having Phoenix and Orlando publicly bid against one another for Smith Jr. Both of these teams have holes in the backcourt, so which one will pay the heaviest price?
Then there’s this from Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, so who knows what’s going on:
The Suns have NO interest in Dennis Smith Jr from Dallas. There is nothing to any report suggesting the Suns have had any conversations with Dallas about him.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) January 15, 2019
Stay tuned to Bright Side Of The Sun as we’ll continue to update you on the situation as more news breaks.