After missing six games while the Dallas Mavericks reportedly engaged in talks to trade him to another team, second-year point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is back in the rotation, having scored 17 points on Tuesday to help the Mavs beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 106-98, on Tuesday. While a number of teams with subpar point guard rotations were supposedly involved in these talks, a new report suggests that Dallas might have considered an offer from an unexpected source – the Los Angeles Lakers.
As recapped earlier on Wednesday by the Inquisitr, Shams Charania’s latest column for the Athletic focused heavily on the Mavericks and their expected moves in the weeks leading up to the February 7 trade deadline, which reportedly included plans to trade for Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker. The report also shed light on recent trade talks involving Smith, and as Silver Screen and Roll quoted, there were three teams whom Dallas spoke with regarding the possibility of trading Smith and giving him a fresh start.
“Smith and the Mavericks had been working to accommodate a trade for him, but receiving equal value for a talented, former No. 9 overall pick just one year into his four-year rookie-scale contract is nearly impossible. The Mavericks discussed Smith deals with several teams, including Orlando, New York, and the L.A. Lakers, league sources said.”
Details of the trade proposal were not specified, but Silver Screen and Roll speculated that the Lakers also tried to acquire veteran guard Wesley Matthews, who was previously reported as a secondary trade piece in any potential deals involving Smith. As for the players whom the Lakers might have tried to offer in return, the publication added that Los Angeles could have dangled backup shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a “lower-tier young player” like rookie big man Moritz Wagner, and some “salary filler.”
Dennis Smith Jr. returned to the Mavs last night, but the relationship might not last much longer.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 23, 2019
“Unless the Mavericks saw Caldwell-Pope as a potential long-term piece, it’s hard to imagine they couldn’t get more for Smith from a team like the Phoenix Suns or Orlando Magic, who are in desperate need of a high upside point guard. It’s for that reason talks likely fell apart,” Silver Screen and Roll posited.
While Dennis Smith Jr.’s current averages of 12.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists, per Basketball-Reference, are substantially lower than the ones he posted as a rookie last season, Silver Screen and Roll agreed with Charania’s report, saying that it would have indeed been difficult for the Dallas Mavericks to get someone of comparable value in terms of on-court contributions.
The new rumors of the Los Angeles Lakers’ failed attempt to trade for Smith came shortly after head coach Luke Walton was quoted as saying that team president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka are trying to fill the void left by injured point guard Lonzo Ball by finding other “options and possibilities.” Ball was recently diagnosed with a Grade 3 ankle sprain and is expected to miss the next four to six weeks for the Lakers.