Magic Rumors

Latest Dennis Smith Jr. Trade Rumors

Trade discussions involving Dennis Smith Jr. have “accelerated” to the point that it would be surprising if the Mavericks don’t make a deal, a team source tells Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on Monday that the Mavs’ trade talks for Smith had ramped up.

According to Townsend’s source, neither Smith nor his agent has requested a trade out of Dallas. “[But] if something is out there, they wouldn’t be opposed to it,” the source said of Smith’s camp. “I think this is kind of figuring out what the win-win is.”

Townsend writes that three primary factors are contributing to the Mavericks’ efforts to find a possible new home for Smith. Luka Doncic‘s rapid ascension is an important factor, as is the fact that trade offers for Smith have “escalated” recently, per Townsend. The third factor is Smith’s relationship with head coach Rick Carlisle. In his Monday report, Wojnarowski wrote that Carlisle and Smith “have struggled to find a common ground,” adding that the head coach has “often been frustrated” with the second-year guard’s decision-making.

“On a scale of one-to-10, it’s certainly not a zero,” one Mavericks source told Townsend, referring to the Carlisle-Smith relationship. “It not a zero with any player. But I wouldn’t say it’s a 10, either. It’s a factor, but it’s not something that can’t be figured out if we end up moving forward with what we have, which is honestly what we want to do.”

Wojnarowski’s initial report cited the Magic and Suns as two teams in the mix for Smith. Townsend agrees that Orlando is “heavily” involved, but suggests Phoenix is not. That echoes a report from John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, who said on Monday night that the Suns don’t have any real interest in Smith.

A subsequent report identified the Pistons as another potential suitor for Smith, and Rod Beard of The Detroit News confirms (via Twitter) that there’s at least some “mild” interest from Detroit. However, Beard notes that the cost may be a first-round pick, plus other assets, and it’s not clear if the Pistons would be willing to surrender their 2019 first-rounder and more in a deal for the 2017 lottery pick.

Pistons, Suns, Magic Pursuing Dennis Smith Jr.?

9:19pm: The Mavericks are also searching for deals that would include veteran shooting guard Wes Matthews, who is making $18.6MM in the final year of his contract, Wojnarowski reports in a follow-up story. Also within that story, sources tell Woj that Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle has “often been frustrated with Smith’s decision-making.”

Meanwhile, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 says that Phoenix has no interest in Smith, despite Woj’s report that the Suns have been active in talks with Dallas.

9:00pm: The Pistons have also talked to the Mavs about Smith Jr., longtime NBA columnist Mitch Lawrence tweets.

8:30 pm: The Mavericks are ramping up trade discussions for point guard Dennis Smith Jr., ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. The Suns and Magic are involved in talks with the Mavs, Wojnarowski adds.

Smith Jr. has missed the last three games with a sore back.

There’s tons of buzz regarding Smith Jr., ESPN’s Zach Lowe confirms in a tweet. However, it’s unclear what kind of package the Mavs are seeking for the 21-year-old.

The ninth overall pick in the 2017 draft seemed like a star in the making during his rookie campaign. He averaged 15.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 5.2 APG in 69 games. The North Carolina State is shooting at a more efficient rate this season, improving his overall field goal percentage from 39.5% to 44.3% and his 3-point success from 31.3% to 37.5%. Still, his slash line of 12.6/2.6/3.9 reflects how he’s struggled to find chemistry alongside rookie sensation Luka Doncic.

Smith has also been turnover prone, coughing it up at a rate of 3.1 per game compared to 2.8 last season despite averaging two fewer minutes.

Jonathan Isaac Now Able To Stay Healthy And Improve

  • As Jonathan Isaac continues to develop and show defensive potential, he has already played in more games than last season, which is a good sign regarding his health and durability. John Denton of the Magic team website details the work that Isaac put in to strengthen his ankles over the summer.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/12/19

Here are Saturday’s NBA G League assignments and recalls from across the league:

  • The Magic recalled rookie Melvin Frazier from their Lakeland affiliate, the team announced in a tweet. The second-round pick has seen limited playing time in three NBA games.
  • The Wizards announced that rookie Troy Brown was assigned to the Capital City GoGo so he could play in tonight’s game against Long Island.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/11/19

Here are Friday’s NBA G League assignments and recalls from across the league:

  • The Magic have assigned rookie shooting guard Melvin Frazier Jr. to Lakeland, the team’s PR department tweets. He’s made three cameos with the Magic this season. The second-round pick averaging 12.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 1.8 APG in 10 outings with Lakeland.
  • The Wizards recalled rookie forward Troy Brown from the Capital City Go Go, their team’s PR department tweets. The 15th overall pick has seen action in 21 games with Washington this season. He’s averaging 17.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 4.0 APG in seven G League games.

Briscoe Jumps Ahead Of Grant In Rotation

  • An MRI on rookie center Mohamed Bamba‘s sore foot showed no structural damage, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Magic coach Steve Clifford said Bamba is unlikely to play this weekend, Robbins adds. The sixth overall pick sat out against Utah on Wednesday.
  • Clifford is inclined to keep rookie Isaiah Briscoe in the Magic’s rotation as the backup point guard, Robbins reports in another tweet. Briscoe has averaged 17.5 MPG in the last two games, contributing 5.5 PPG and 3.5 APG. The undrafted Kentucky product has displaced Jerian Grant, who had been backing up D.J. Augustin. Briscoe’s salary is non-guaranteed after this season, while Grant could be an unrestricted free agent if the club doesn’t extend a $3.76MM qualifying offer.

Pelicans Interested In Terrence Ross

  • New Orleans is another team that would move its first-round pick for immediate help, particularly at small forward, according to Deveney, who says the Pelicans have had some interest in Terrence Ross. As we’ve heard previously, the Magic have indicated they’d rather move Jonathon Simmons than Ross, but Ross would have more value. If Orlando keeps slipping further from the No. 8 seed in the East, the team might become more inclined to shop Ross.

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NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/10/19

Here are Thursday’s NBA G League assignments and recalls from across the league:

And-Ones: BIG3, Stretch Provision, Hawes

Changes are coming to Ice Cube‘s BIG3 basketball league for the 2019 season, as the BIG3 announced today (via Twitter) that it will expand from eight teams to 12. According to Ice Cube (via Twitter), the first of those four new franchises – the Triplets – will be coached by longtime WNBA star Lisa Leslie.

In other BIG3 news, the league is lowering its age minimum from 30 years to 27 and will allow current NBA or international pros to participate. The BIG3 will also play games twice a week in 2019, appearing in a total of 18 cities.

In 2018, a team featuring longtime NBA players Corey Maggette, Glen Davis, Cuttino Mobley, and Quentin Richardson – and coached by Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman – won the BIG3 title.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • In an interesting piece for SI.com, Jake Fischer takes a closer look at the pros and cons of the NBA’s stretch provision from the perspective of players impacted by it.
  • Within that same story, Fischer notes that veteran NBA center Spencer Hawes continues to seek another shot in the league. “I don’t want to go out getting cut,” said Hawes, who was waived by the Bucks in September 2017. “I know it’s a rare thing to kind of go out on your terms. But I still have a lot in the tank. I don’t want to look back and say I was done at 29 and just kind of gave up on it.”
  • Teams that still have mid-level and bi-annual exceptions available will see those exceptions prorate daily by 1/177th starting today, ESPN’s Bobby Marks points out (via Twitter). For instance, the $8.641MM mid-level exception will decline in value by about $49K per day for the rest of the season. Proration won’t impact trade exceptions or disabled player exceptions.
  • After some confusion on Wednesday, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days confirms (via Twitter) that Orlando’s G League affiliate has waived rookie Justin Jackson following his season-ending injury. The Lakeland Magic have added Anthony Brown to replace Jackson, notes Johnson.

Magic Second-Rounder Out For The Season

Justin Jackson, a second-round pick by Orlando who is spending the year with the Lakeland Magic on a G League contract, has suffered a season-ending injury, according to a tweet from the Lakeland team.

The Magic weren’t specific about exactly what happened to Jackson, but he had a torn labrum when he played at Maryland that forced him to miss much of the 2017/18 season and kept him out of summer league action. Jackson averaged 4.5 PPG and 3.8 RPG in 10 games while shooting 34% from the floor in his first G League season.

Orlando picked up Jackson’s rights in a draft-night trade with the Nuggets, moving down from No. 41 to No. 43 and acquiring a 2019 second-round pick in the deal.