The Dallas Mavericks drafted Dennis Smith Jr. with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. They were hoping he would transform into a star and their point guard of the future. DSJ had an up and down rookie year before Luka Doncic arrived and quickly proved he was the team’s lead ball-handler of the present and future.
Dallas traded Smith Jr. to the Knicks midway through his second season in the original Kristaps Porzingis deal. The Mavs still owe their 2023 first-round pick to New York from that deal. Things did not work out with KP in Dallas, but the Mavericks took a swing on a young All-Star.
Smith Jr. has struggled to find his footing since leaving Dallas. The Knicks traded him to Detroit in 2021 where he played 19 minutes per game. DSJ signed with the Blazers as a free agent last season where he averaged 5.6 points, 3.6 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 17.2 minutes per over 37 games before being released midseason. He remains unsigned this offseason, and the Mavericks have an open roster spot.
Should the Dallas Mavericks sign Dennis Smith Jr. to fill their final roster spot?
Smith Jr. held a workout in Las Vegas during the NBA2K23 Summer League that the Mavericks reportedly attended. It sparked plenty of reunion chatter, and fans can see the highlights from DSJ’s workout below.
Dallas needs another ball-handler and shot creator, and the point guard market is getting thin. Should they sign Dennis Smith Jr. to fill their final roster spot?
The Mavericks need someone that can play a consistent role. DSJ was on the Blazers roster to start last season, but he was waived in February. He struggled mightily with his jumper, and he is a career 31.2 percent 3-point shooter. It appears Smith Jr. has remade his form, but the shot looks slow, and it will be difficult to get off against NBA competition.
Portland took a step back last year after Damian Lillard’s injury, and they still waived the 24-year-old guard in February. DSJ struggles to score efficiently on the offensive end of the floor, and the opposition sags off because they do not need to respect his jumper.
Dennis Smith Jr. still has immense potential, and he is clearly motivated to find an NBA role next season, but the Dallas Mavericks want to contend for a championship. They cannot have a third-string guard that is an offensive liability, especially when the Mavs had their most success last season playing two ball-handlers on the floor at all times.
The Dallas Mavericks continue to explore the trade market for an upgrade, but they have not found the right deal yet. Will they? Where does Dennis Smith Jr. land next season? Stay tuned to find out.