The case for the Dallas Mavericks bringing back Dennis Smith Jr. this offseason
Despite all the reports of them not getting along, DSJ and Luka Doncic remain close friends. Smith Jr. talked about it with Chris Henderson back in Sept. 2019. He called the relationship between Luka, Dorian Finney-Smith, and him “real tight”.
The Mavericks need another ball-handler and shot creator. They outscored the Clippers by seven in Luka Doncic’s 281 minutes on the court in the postseason, but LA held a 43-point edge in the 55 minutes the Mavs played without their 22-year-old superstar. The Mavericks offensive rating in the playoffs slipped to 83.0 without Doncic on the floor. They scored 118.3 points per 100 possessions when he was out there, but Luka wore down late in games from carrying such a massive workload. Dallas needs someone that can handle the ball and let Doncic get a rest.
Smith Jr. would also give the Mavericks the ability to change the pace. The 23-year-old is not afraid to run the floor and get things moving in transition. His efficiency in those sets is questionable, but learning from new Mavs head coach and Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd could do wonders for the former lottery pick.
Dennis Smith Jr. still has tremendous upside. Things have not gone as planned so far, but the 23-year-old has plenty of time to improve his game.