One of the most painful things about professional sports is that in order to get better as a team, sometimes you need to get rid of your favorite players.
The undefeated Dallas Mavericks will take on the Brooklyn Nets in a highly anticipated matchup tonight.
In 2017, the Mavericks selected Dennis Smith Jr. in the NBA Draft. Mavs fans were very amped up for this pick after seeing all the pure athleticism and scoring Smith Jr. had showcased at North Carolina State.
Mavericks due for emotional game against Nets with return of former fan favorites
Just a year later, in 2018, the Mavs’ made a trade to select Luka Doncic. Everyone believed this would become one of the best young duos in the NBA.
Smith Jr. debatably had his best season in Dallas his rookie year. He averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and one steal per game.
In January 2019, the Mavericks decided it was time to move their franchise focus to Luka Doncic and trade Smith Jr. In the blockbuster trade with the New York Knicks, the Mavs received Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, and Courtney Lee. The Knicks received Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two first-round picks.
Smith Jr. brought pure energy to the AAC and will see a warm welcome back as the Mavs take on the Nets.
Earlier this year in February, the Mavericks made another blockbuster trade with the Nets for Kyrie Irving and Markieff Morris, in exchange for Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, a first-round pick, and two second-round picks.
The Mavericks were getting one of the best offensive players in NBA history, but they were losing a fan favorite in Finney-Smith.
Every fan had thought that Doe-Doe was going to be a Maverick for life. There were always two players on the Mavs that fans seemingly never disliked, which were Doncic and Finney-Smith.
Finney-Smith was key a piece in the Mavs 2022 playoff run and dominated both sides of the floor. In that season, he averaged 11 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
Be sure to look for a standing ovation and many tears shed in the AAC, as seven-year Maverick, Finney-Smith will be making his return. Guard Spencer Dinwiddie will also be making his return.