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Dallas Mavericks all-time draft bust starting 5

Dallas Mavericks, Dennis Smith, Jr.
Dallas Mavericks, Dennis Smith, Jr. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks all-time draft bust starting point guard: Dennis Smith Jr.

The Mavs drafted Smith Jr. with the ninth overall pick in 2017 to be their point guard of the present and future. He started his first NBA game and showed promise on his way to a second-team All-Rookie finish.

Then, the Mavericks traded up to draft Luka Doncic, and it became immediately clear that the Slovenian prodigy should have the ball in his hands. DSJ’s inconsistent jump shot kept him from fitting around number 77, so he was traded in the Kristaps Porzingis deal in Jan. 2019.

Since leaving Dallas, Smith Jr. has struggled to stay on the court. He slipped from the Knicks rotation before being traded to the Pistons. The 24-year-old is currently a free agent after playing for part of last season with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Dennis Smith Jr. still has plenty of potential, but a top ten pick being out of the league after five years is definitely a draft bust. The Mavericks could have drafted Donovan Mitchell, and former head coach Rick Carlisle was reportedly clamoring for Dallas to do just that.

There is still time for Smith Jr. to turn it around, but he needs to improve his jumper, defense, shot selection, and playmaking ability. Smith Jr. may benefit from a fresh start in a different league where he can work on his game.

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