In the wise words of J Cole, “Dennis Smith, Jr. stay solid my *****.”
While I cannot finish said quote, that is becoming the truth for him now, as trade talks have been ramping up. The Mavs, in light of Luka Doncic being the real #1 pick and RotY, are looking to get compensation for DSJ. Why? Well, to paraphase a different famous movie, “He is the captain now.”
Yes, with DSJ being plagued with injuries (and JJ Barea going down with that Achilles rupture), Luka has not only stepped up to being the primary ball handler, but is essentially the only ball handler on their team. The #4 overall vote-getter for the NBA All-Star game (#2 in the West frontcourt only behind LeBron) will unlikely relinquish or be told to relinquish the offensive reins, so the question becomes simple: who wants DSJ?
Thankfully for him, two teams have expressed heavy interest in him, and seem to be willing to give good assets in order to acquire him. Unfortunately for him, those two teams are the Suns and Magic.
While this does mean that he will be leaving the Mavs (and break my heart since I wanted to see the Luka-DSJ combo work out), he will be going to one of two teams that not only need a point guard, but will allow him to be a starter day one. Here are a few ideas for trades…
Mavs Receive – SF/PF Jonathan Isaac (3 yrs/~$5 mpy), 2nd round pick (swap best to Magic)
Magic Receive – PG Dennis Smith, Jr. (3 yrs/~$4 mpy), 2nd round pick (swap worst to Mavs)
Mavs Receive – SG/SF Mikal Bridges (4 yrs/$3.5 mil), 2nd round pick, 2nd round pick (swap worst to Magic)
Suns Receive – PG Dennis Smith, Jr. (3 yrs/~$4 mpy), 2nd round pick (swap best to Mavs)
Now, I know that the players salaries slightly match. The only reason I am including picks is to make it slightly more palatable for both teams. I completely believe that they could easily just do a player swap, but nothing is that simple in the NBA. I believe that the greed of some teams will lead them to try and off-load contracts (looking at you Suns cough cough) and maybe kill the deal on their end. However, this is a good divorce that, while it did not need to happen, it was going to happen.
Keep your head up DSJ.