The trade rumors that surround Dennis Smith Jr. have persisted for weeks. Reports claim executives around the league are certain that the Mavericks will trade the second-year point guard. The questionable fit of 2 ball-dominant players in the backcourt has prompted these reports and rumors. With Luka Doncic quickly emerging as a star, DSJ seems to be the odd man out. Both are most effective with the ball in their hands, so having them play together would be a waste of talent. I personally believe they are young enough to develop into a stellar backcourt and the Mavericks should be patient. Still, there is a chance the Mavs are set on trading him. If Dennis Smith Jr does end up in a trade, where should he go?
Mavericks Recieve: TJ Warren, Dragan Bender, Mikal Bridges
Suns Receive: Dennis Smith Jr, Dwight Powell, Salah Mejri, Ryan Broekhoff
In this trade, the Suns would finally get their future point guard. Since Devin Booker is a much better off-ball player than Doncic, Smith would be able to handle the ball much more. Being a player that is best with the ball in his hands, this is a perfect scenario for DSJ. The Suns have a wealth of wings that can shoot, giving plenty of spacing for DSJ. He would be able to drive with ease and show off his passing ability. Although the defense with Booker and Smith won’t be pretty, Josh Jackson can guard the opposing teams best perimeter player. Additionally, Smith fits perfectly into the Suns’ timeline. Deandre Ayton is 20 years old, Booker is 22 and Smith is 21. If the Suns give them time to develop together, they could become an elite big three.
For the Mavericks they would receive a great wing player, defensive big and a young, talented wing. TJ Warren would be a key piece in this trade if Dallas is serious about making the playoffs. This team is subpar offensively and adding an elite scorer, such as Warren, would boost their output. After trading Smith, Doncic would likely become the starting point guard, creating a need for wing depth. This need can easily be filled by Warren who will also aid their lack of three-point shooting. On the season, Warren is shooting 44% from three on 4.2 attempts per game. I would also assume he would get more open threes playing with a gifted shot creator such as Luka Doncic.
Additionally, Dragan Bender is a solid filler for Dwight Powell as a backup center. Although Powell is better in the paint, Bender can spread the floor (34% career 3PT shooter) and is a good defender. He has a -6.7 defensive on/off, meaning teams score 6.7 fewer points per 100 possessions when he’s in the game. Adding Mikal Bridges gives the Mavericks much-needed wing-depth and allows them to keep young pieces around Doncic. Bridges can also be an impact player similar to Warren in the Mavs chase for the playoffs. Overall, this trade allows Smith a great opportunity in a new environment that is more well-suited for him, while the Mavericks set up Doncic to be the primary ball-handler for their future and add assets for a playoff push.
Mavericks Recieve: Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross
Magic Receive: Dennis Smith Jr, Harrison Barnes
The other young team desperately searching for a point guard is the Orlando Magic. Similar to the Suns, the Magic are a rebuilding team that needs a point guard. Smith’s age should be appealing to them because he fits the same timeline as Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, and Mohamed Bamba. Even though they were competing for the 8th seed earlier this season, the Magic have recently struggled. They need to focus on their future more than making the playoffs. This trade will lock their salary cap with Harrison Barnes‘ contract, but getting a young point guard with Smith’s potential is worth it. Additionally, Barnes is far from a useless player. Barnes, along with Smith, can provide an offensive punch the Magic desperately need.
With Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross heading to Dallas, the Mavericks get two offensively talented veterans while getting rid of Barnes’ awful contract. Both Ross and Vucevic are shooting 39% from three and scoring the ball at a high level. Vucevic is having a career year averaging 20.2 points per game on 52/39/82 splits. Although the Mavericks already have Deandre Jordan at center, they could cut his minutes or play Vucevic at power forward against less-talented bench units. This trade would get rid of the only two rotation players with a negative +/- in Dallas and bolster the Mavericks weak offense. It’s not a perfect trade for Dallas, but it’s still beneficial for them. More importantly for Dennis Smith Jr, it would land him on a team that surrounds him with help defensively and gives him control of the offense.
Where do you think Dennis Smith Jr. should go? Comment Below!