The Dallas Mavericks organization was as excited as you can imagine when they saw the name Dennis Smith Jr. still on the draft board when the clock started. Did this selection change the team’s direction in more ways than one?
A lot of tweets and reports have surfaced talking about how the Dallas Mavericks got their guy when they selected Dennis Smith Jr. with the 9th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. What people do not understand when they are tweeting this and saying this is that it really isn’t true.
Why, you ask?
The answer to that question is simple: The Mavs did not believe that a guy like Smith Jr. would still be available at the 9th pick. For that reason, the Mavs were not even planning on having a guy that would legitimately be able to vie for the starting point guard spot when the regular season rolls around in a few months.
This is a big thing for the Mavericks who were reportedly looking for a starting point guard in free agency with eyes especially pointed at Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans. With the news of the draft pick, however, the Mavericks decided that the team was going to take a different direction come free agency, according to Donnie Nelson.
This isn’t such a surprising decision for the Mavs who will be limited in cap and now have a great point guard who will be game ready quick. No, the surprising thing is that Dallas is no longer focused on free agency for the first time in a long time. Year after year, the Mavs miss their mark in free agency and are forced to scramble to find pieces to fill in until the next summer.
This time, the Mavericks (and their fans) don’t have to go through the pain of being the undesirable destination for the top level free agents for a whole summer. Instead, Donnie gets to focus on finding other players to try out for Dallas from a great group of undrafted rookies and the lower level free agents that don’t come with an ugly price tag.
This may not be the sign of a shift in front office focus or it may be just that, but the fact of it all remains that Dennis Smith Jr. is the reason the Mavericks have been given a burst of freedom this summer. His presence on the draft board when the Dallas Mavericks were on the clock was strong enough to get everyone pumping their fists and cheering, while immediately changing the entire plans of the summer after one pick.
It is impossible to say who the Mavs will target or where they will go to fill the next roster spot. But, what we can know, is that this summer will be nowhere near the emotional roller coaster that the previous few have been for us. Dennis Smith Jr. is to thank for that and MFFLs can thank him even morewhen he finally takes the court wearing the royal blue and white of the Mavs.