Dennis Smith Jr., the Mavericks‘ lottery pick a year before the team selected Luka Doncic, quickly bonded with his new teammate upon Doncic’s arrival in 2018, forming an off-the-court friendship. However, Dallas’ front office and then-coach Rick Carlisle didn’t believe the two guards were an on-court fit and were already planning to “blow it up,” according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who says Carlisle had wanted to draft Donovan Mitchell in 2017 and had quickly soured on Smith.
In the months before Smith was sent to New York in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, Carlisle was hard on the former N.C. State standout — he accused DSJ of being jealous of Doncic and seemed determined to make him miserable, multiple former players and staffers told ESPN. The treatment was “appalling” to Doncic, who resented Carlisle’s apparent desire to pit him against his teammate and friend, writes MacMahon.
As MacMahon outlines, the Smith situation represented the beginning of years-long tension between Carlisle and Doncic.
“It wasn’t really about how Rick treated Luka,” a Mavs player on the 2018/19 team told ESPN. “Luka hated how Rick treated other people.”
For what it’s worth, Smith replied to MacMahon’s article on Twitter and said the details about his time in Dallas were “spot on,” adding, “Y’all don’t even know the half.”
Here are a few more of the most interesting details from the ESPN report, which is worth checking out in full:
- Shortly before he resigned as the Mavericks’ head coach, Carlisle – who had two years left on his contract – approached team owner Mark Cuban about the possibility of an extension, but was shot down, says MacMahon. Carlisle, recognizing that he’d likely enter the 2021/22 season on the hot seat if he remained in Dallas, decided to leave once he was confident he’d be able to quickly secure another head coaching job. Doncic never called for Carlisle’s dismissal, sources tell ESPN.
- According to MacMahon, the Mavericks came to regret releasing J.J. Barea prior to the 2020/21 season, since the veteran guard had served as “connective tissue” between Doncic and Carlisle and between Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, helping manage those relationships. When Doncic and Porzingis had communication issues last season, Carlisle wasn’t in position to smooth them over since he didn’t have a great relationship with either player, MacMahon adds.
- Porzingis was so disillusioned entering the 2021 offseason that he would’ve welcomed a trade, MacMahon reports. However, the big man has felt rejuvenated since Carlisle’s departure under new head coach Jason Kidd, who was the only candidate the Mavs seriously considered during their coaching search, per MacMahon.
20 thoughts on “Mavs Notes: Doncic, Carlisle, DSJ, Porzingis, Barea”
Yikes. Not been a great few months for Rick Carlisle …
Just read this entire article. What a fantastic read. Always said Carlisle wasn’t the right coach for Luka and this proves it. He is Thibs with a title (as a head coach).
Carlisle had the support of Dirk, and managed his players and strategy the same even after he retired.
Thought it was strange that they fired Rick and that there was off the court issues. Dallas is usually so quiet with its issues and Mark Cuban does a great job taking away attention from these kinds of things.
Felt bad for DSJ, had a really solid rookie season, quickly become friends with Luka the new face of the franchise and although they weren’t the best fit together they could’ve made it work. However one was liked and the other wasn’t and he was forced out.
DSJ has since bounced around the league and even went without a team for abit. Kids only young, he’s obviously got talent and just needs someone to have some faith in him and help him.
DSJ was a classic put up good stats on a bad team guy
Disagree, he was a rookie and had a pretty solid year. Second year he gets treated really poorly by the coach and forced out to the Knicks which is probably one of the hardest places to play as a young kid.
Put up a decent second season all things considered and then fell off.
Not much players on rookie contracts have to go through what he went through.
Look at Markelle Fultz, terribly disappointing number 1 overall pick. Moves to Orlando who then put lots of faith in him and try help him improve. Gets given a huge extension and is still crap.
I’d take DSJ everyday over Fultz
Eh Fultz still has room to grow – I think he could still be really good in a couple years
I mean every player under the age of 33 probably has room to grow, that means nothing.
He’s not going to be really good, best he ever gets is Ricky Rubio level. I’d say DSJ his ceiling could still be a Jordan Clarkson.
If your a contender your rather Clarkson but if your a looking for a reliable back up/occasional starter then Rubio would be your pick
I always hated carlise as a coach. And no one knows this story that he let Dwayne Casey, Terry stouts, Jason kidd and Jason Terry coach the team when they won 2011 championship. That’s how stotts and Casey got a head coach gig right after that. Stotts, Casey and kidd all have more playoff series wins than carlise since 2011 hahahaha.
Kidd and Terry were players at the time but that’s not a bad take that.
Yes they were players at the time but they both had a desire to be future coaches. so carlise let Terry kidd stotts and Casey gameplan all season long
That is why I keep saying IND must fire Carlisle like yesterday, dude is pure cancer… is ruining a very good IND team with his uselessness!
Luka is talented as hell,but a whining out of shape talent just the same.
Suppose you think the same about Harden.
Even tho he’s arguably the 4th best SG of all time.
Star players complain and not all players have to be chiseled from the gods.
How is Harden the 4th best SG of all time? Dude doesn’t even play defense.
MJ Kobe Wade no debate really
Then it’s comes down to personal opinion. I’d have Harden over AI and Drexler.
Harden accomplishment wise:
1 MVP, 6 first teams and 9 all stars currently
AI had 1 MVP but only 3 first teams with 11 all stars (Harden will get atleast 11)
Drex had no MVP, 1 title, only 1 nba first team and 10 all stars.
Gervin, Miller, Allen, TMac they all aren’t close
Arguably is right. I would argue against that all day long. I guess if you are very young, ‘all-time’ is pretty short.
Take a look at this list and tell me you cannot find 4 guys who are better; more like 7 or 8, right off the top of my head, no question, better, without getting into any discussion.
link to google.com
When Harden wins his first championship we can start the discussion if that makes him better than Pete Maravich.
Name 7/8 better hahahahah
It’s MJ Kobe Wade then personally Harden just over AI then Drex then a drop off.
Harden has 1 MVP, 6 all nba first teams, 9 all stars and counting.
Maravich had half as many all stars, half as many first teams and not even half as many scoring champs.
Old school basketball is overrated, people be giving in the glory days far to much
…and btw, IT IS THEIR JOB TO BE IN SHAPE, they are professional athletes, not fans swilling beer at home. When did this meme about fat-shaming start applying to athletes? That is like saying ‘he doesn’t have to be smart, he is just a nuclear engineer’ – yeah who cares about a few Chernobyls when somebody’s feelings might get hurt?
Tell that to Shaq…
Just cause he’s not the same size as everyone doesn’t make him unfit for his job.
In terms of SGs the best two in the league right now are out of shape in Harden and Luka