Jalen Brunson‘s play in recent weeks has made the Mavericks look even wiser for dealing second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr. as part of the Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.
A high second-round pick, the rookie guard out of Villanova has averaged 15.8 PPG and 4.3 APG over the past 10 games for the Mavericks. Brunson, who has become a starter since the trade, signed a partially-guaranteed four-year, $6.1MM contract last summer.
“He does everything right,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Brunson. “He works at his craft and pays attention to detail. … This guy was the 33rd pick in the draft. Pretty good.”
We have more from the Southwest Division:
- Signing Magic free agent center Nikola Vucevic would make the Mavericks an offensive powerhouse but also create defensive concerns, Townsend opines. Dallas will have ample cap room to pursue free agents this summer and have been linked to Vucevic. “Vucevic would be a great fit in terms of being able to space the floor offensively and when you’re talking about potentially (Kristaps) Porzingis out there at the same time and Luka (Doncic), you’re talking about potentially an offensive team that’s unstoppable or about as close as you can get,” Townsend said in a podcast. “And Vucevic can score with his back to the basket he’s really rounded into an all-around player this year. Is he going to protect the rim for them? No, he’s not.”
- Making the right lottery pick, determining the business and basketball impact of an Anthony Davis trade, figuring out whether to retain or trade Jrue Holiday and deciding whether to retool or rebuild are the biggest challenges for the Pelicans front office this summer, ESPN’s Bobby Marks writes. Marks takes a long look at all of these issues as part of a series that breaks down every team’s offseason moves.
- The Pelicans might eventually shut down Holiday and E’Twaun Moore for the rest of the season, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets. Holiday is nursing an abdominal injury and Moore is dealing with a quad issue. Coach Alvin Gentry told Guillory the team would be “overly cautious” during their recovery.