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.