Q: So the speculation from fans and media that he’d be a part of a trade package in a deal for Anthony Davis – that’s not on his radar? A: “I’ve never heard Junior say anything about trade rumors. I haven’t heard that. For whoever is reading this, he’s the type of kid who controls what he can control. And right now, what he can control is getting in better shape and being a better shooter and being a better player, totally. He doesn’t put energy toward (trade rumors). Of course, he hears it. I think he lives on the planet Earth, so it’s kind of hard with all of this social media stuff. Does he dwell on it? No. Does he lose sleep over it? No.”
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Some in the Knicks front office were enamored with Smith Jr. ahead of the 2017 NBA draft, sources said. The Knicks instead selected Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick. Ntilikina’s name has come up in recent trade discussions, including informal talks between New York and Dallas about the possibility of moving Porzingis, sources told ESPN. New York will continue to try to trade disgruntled center Enes Kanter ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline, sources told ESPN.
Adam Zagoria: Dennis Smith Jr. is ‘ecstatic’ about joining the Knicks, a source close to him tells me. The Knicks passed on him in 2017 to take Ntilikina.
The Knicks get a point guard of the future in Smith, who had a triple-double at the Garden on Wednesday night, and should now have enough cap space for two maximum free agents — with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving squarely on their radar. A source said general manager Scott Perry and Mavs chief Donnie Nelson were behind closed doors at the Garden discussing scenarios when the Mavericks faced the Knicks on Wednesday night.
Shams Charania: Sources: Full players involved in Knicks/Mavericks deal: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke to Dallas. Dennis Smith Jr., Wes Matthews, DeAndre Jordan and likely first-round draft pick compensation to New York.
Adrian Wojnarowski: New York has agreed with Dallas on trade that includes Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., for Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan, league sources tell ESPN. Players and agents are being notified of particulars. Deal may include more draft assets.
Shams Charania: Sources: New York and Dallas have agreed in principle on a trade sending package around Kristaps Porzingis for Dennis Smith Jr. Wes Matthews, other contracts, and picks going to New York, and Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke among players going to Dallas. Sides finishing final terms.
Tim MacMahon: Sources confirm @TheSteinLine report: Mavs closing in on deal to acquire Kristaps Porzingis along with Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. Package to Knicks includes Dennis Smith Jr. and expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews.
New York and Dallas are in deep discussions on a trade that would send Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks and Dennis Smith Jr. to the Knicks, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium.
The Knicks would receive Dennis Smith Jr. and the expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews in the proposed trade, according to league sources
“Their priority should be a starting point guard,” a front-office official for an NBA team said of the Magic. “Those guys don’t grow on trees, and Dennis Smith is pretty alluring because when are you going to get (a starting point guard otherwise)?”
Smith and the Mavericks had been working to accommodate a trade for him, but receiving equal value for a talented, former No. 9 overall pick just one year into his four-year rookie-scale contract is nearly impossible. The Mavericks discussed Smith deals with several teams, including Orlando, New York and the L.A. Lakers, league sources said.
Tim MacMahon: Statement from Dennis Smith Jr. released through Mavs PR department: “I am thrilled to rejoin my teammates on Tuesday. I am feeling better and had a great workout today. It has been difficult to be away, but I look forward to getting back on the court and helping my team win.”
Tim MacMahon: Statement from Rick Carlisle: “I am excited to announce Dennis Smith Jr. will rejoin the team on Tuesday. Dennis and I spoke at length today. He is feeling better and plans to resume workouts in preparation for his return. There will be no further updates until Tuesday.”
Shams Charania: Sources tell @TheAthletic @WatchStadium: Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle apologized to Dennis Smith Jr. in phone conversation, expressing remorse over situation. The Mavericks have made clear Smith has been positive presence for them.
Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. plans to rejoin the Dallas Mavericks for Tuesday’s home game against the LA Clippers, sources told ESPN. Coach Rick Carlisle informed the team about Smith’s pending return at Sunday’s practice in Milwaukee, stressing Smith’s value to the team and encouraging players to welcome him with open arms, sources said.
The Mavs have been adamant that they won’t trade Smith unless they get good value in return and have not received any offers they consider tempting, sources said. Smith’s frustration, according to sources, stems from his diminished role with rookie star Luka Doncic emerging as Dallas’ primary playmaker and friction with Carlisle.
Asked Friday if he was confident that Smith could still be a long-term piece of the Mavs’ core, Carlisle took a short-term view. “Look, that’s why we drafted him,” Carlisle said. “A lot’s being made of the fact that both of these guys need the ball. We’ve got a lot of games left in this season. Let’s play it out and see where we are. I think that’s the way to go.”
Shams Charania: Sources: After Dallas head coach Rick Calisle and guard Dennis Smith Jr. spoke on a call, Smith will report to the Mavericks on Tuesday and play against the Clippers. Carlisle and Smith had productive conversations.
Tim MacMahon: Filed to ESPN — Sources: Coach Rick Carlisle informed the Mavericks at today’s practice in Milwaukee that Dennis Smith Jr. plans to return to the team for Tuesday’s home game against the Clippers.
According to a person debriefed on the situation, the Knicks inquired about Smith before the season but “not recently.” It’s known some members of the organization rated Smith higher than Ntilikina before the 2017 draft.
Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle reiterated on his weekly radio show that disgruntled point guard Dennis Smith Jr. “is welcome to come back and rejoin the team whenever he feels like he can,” adding that he believes Smith’s advisers are telling him to stay away from the team.
“I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I know one thing: This kid is a team guy, and he loves being with his teammates, and he really respects his teammates,” Carlisle said Friday on 103.3 FM ESPN in Dallas. “This is just my feeling, is that he’s being told to stay away for whatever reason. I just don’t want people out there to think he is snubbing the Mavs or anything like that. This is just my opinion, I believe there’s business stuff going on, and he’s being told to stay away. Listen, if that’s what they feel is in his best interests, he should trust his advisers. But it’s unlike him not to want to be with his teammates.
Carlisle said after Friday’s practice that he had reached out to Smith and agent Glenn Schwartzman to let them know that the Mavs “would love to have [Smith] back.” On his radio show Friday afternoon, Carlisle added: “It was sent as a message with no response necessary, but they could either work through [Mavs president of basketball operations] Donnie Nelson or myself to facilitate. That’s where things are, and I’m hoping he comes back soon.”
The second is a function of the market as it stands. According to league sources, while there are certainly teams interested in Smith, there is some reluctance to make a commitment to him because there could be other more traditional young point guards on the market this summer. There will be the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker in free agency, of course. But for rebuilding teams in need of a point guard — Orlando and Phoenix have been mentioned as possible Smith suitors — the preference is to take aim at young restricted free agents like Terry Rozier or D’Angelo Russell this summer rather than gamble on whether Smith can develop into a point guard. “He is very athletic, but he’s not a playmaker and not a great shooter,” one front office executive told SN. “If you have money under the cap this offseason (the Suns and Magic will), there are other guys you can pursue who fit better, who can pass and score.”
Still, a source told SN that a trade of Smith “is a matter of when, not if.” Could be in the three weeks left before the trade deadline. Could be this summer. But it’ll have to come after the Mavs have dealt with some of the challenges of trading Smith now.
“Not sure he has played his last game as a (Maverick),” one team source said. “But we will see.” Still, the Mavericks wants Smith back on their own terms, and Carlisle doesn’t plan on budging. There’s no indication – one way or another – what Smith plans to do.
Personality-wise, Carlisle loves Smith, but they’re less of a match on the basketball court. Certainly, Smith is seasons away from being an effective true point guard, although it’s plausible there’s another productive role that could be created in the meantime for the ridiculously explosive athlete with a knack for scoring. As of Thursday, it’s still unclear if Carlisle has even spoken to Smith, saying Tuesday that he had only spoken to his agent, Glenn Schwartzman, and expected Smith to play moving forward if healthy.
Within an hour of the first media report, a team executive told me no trade was likely from the team’s discussions that day. Dallas is adamant that any trade rumors did not come from within, and there are only two other options: a potential trade partner – Phoenix and Orlando, among others – seeking public pressure, or Smith’s camp.
There have been trade discussions involving Dennis (and other Mavs). Orlando has been among the teams Dallas has spoken with. (I never thought there was much substance to the Phoenix-related rumors, and as if this morning I still believe that.) But I don’t think Orlando has “made an offer.” I believe coach Rick Carlisle is ready for a move and I believe the Dennis camp is ready for a move.
Shams Charania: Sources: Dallas‘ Dennis Smith Jr. and top team officials have talked in past several days and had positive communication. Mavericks maintain Smith has been positive teammate and competitor. Smith hasn’t made trade request.
Mike Fisher: Source close to #Mavs situation: ‘Rick was always hard on DSJ. Maybe too hard. But in the last couple of weeks, something changed. And yeah, Dennis thinks it’d be best if he’s traded.’
Tim Bontemps: An example of the balancing act the Mavericks are attempting with Dennis Smith Jr.: a scout who saw Dallas recently said Rick Carlisle would try to call specific plays for Smith in an attempt to try to get him going — only for Smith to break them off, leaving Carlisle frustrated.
Tim MacMahon: “Dennis Smith Jr., the Mavericks are trying hard to trade him, and the problem is, everybody in the league knows that they’re desperately trying to move him, and it’s really hard to get value–“ Brian Windhorst: “And [teams] have known for weeks. You’ve had a couple of stories about it recently, but you knew before that, too.” MacMahon: “It was just kind of known around the league, ‘Hey, the Mavs are shopping Dennis Smith Jr.’ And it’s intensified. But clearly, there’s not an offer they like, because he’s still on the roster, just not at the arena. His mysterious back injury healed, and now he’s ‘sick’.”
Tim MacMahon: “This is not a situation–[Dennis Smith Jr.] has not been banished from the Mavericks. This is not a case of the Mavericks saying, ‘Hey, stay home, we’re trying to trade you, we don’t want you to get hurt.’ This is a case of Dennis Smith Jr. deciding, ‘I’m done here, let’s get a trade going, I don’t want to play.'”
The Mavs have shopped Smith throughout the season but haven’t received any offers that have tempted them to pull the trigger on trading a 21-year-old that the Dallas front office still believes has potential to develop into a star, sources said. “Plan A is still to fix this,” a team source told ESPN.
Smith has recently expressed that he hopes to be traded, and he is frustrated with his role as Rookie of the Year frontrunner Luka Doncic has seized the reins of the offense and has had friction with coach Rick Carlisle, sources said.
Several team sources downplayed the friction between Smith and Carlisle, characterizing it as a coach being demanding of a young player in the best interests of his development. Smith’s poor decision-making and his tendency to over-dribble have been sources of frustration for Carlisle, sources said, but such growing pains are typical for young players. Sources said Carlisle would welcome continuing to coach Smith.
Tim MacMahon: Filed to ESPN, story posting soon — Mavericks are optimistic that they can reconcile and move forward with point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and are insistent that they won’t trade their 2017 lottery pick unless they get good value in return, sources told ESPN.
Tracy McGrady: “Dennis Smith Jr. would look good in a Magic uniform”
I think Orlando is a better fit [for Smith Jr.] but last night I had heard that it won’t be Orlando. We’ll see if that changes but last night I had a source tell me it won’t be Orlando for Dennis Smith.
Carlisle indicated that he assumed DSJ would attend practice, but then had a conversation with Smith’s agent Glenn Schwartzmann, and then was informed that the player would be absent with a stomach virus. Smith Jr. is now listed as questionable for Dallas’ home game on Wednesday against the Spurs. “You get into this business knowing trades are possible, that everything is possible,” said Carlisle, who as I have reported before in this space is unusually tough on this particular player, which may be the root of the disgruntlement. “(An NBA team) is already a pot of boiling water. Then a couple of degrees here or there, then ‘big deal’.”
NBA sources cite two factors: The swift ascendance of rookie Luka Doncic and quicker-than-expected trajectory change in the franchise’s outlook. And, to a lesser degree, the continued butting of heads between Smith and coach Rick Carlisle about some of the second-year guard’s on-court decision-making. “On a scale of one-to-10, it’s certainly not a zero,” a Mavericks source said of the Carlisle-Smith element. “It not a zero with any player. But I wouldn’t say it’s a 10, either. It’s a factor, but it’s not something that can’t be figured out if we end up moving forward with what we have, which is honestly what we want to do.”
A Mavericks source says the franchise’s hope when it drafted Doncic was that Doncic-Smith could blossom into a 21st-century version of Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, the backcourt tandem that led the Detroit Pistons to NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. The Mavericks source, though, compared Smith’s situation this season to that of an only child who suddenly wakes up with a new sibling who’s suddenly getting most of the attention. The “sibling rivalry,” the source said, mostly has had a positive effect in Smith improving his strength and conditioning and raising his shooting percentage.
The Mavs, though, have been trying to move Smith, the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, after seeing Luka Doncic emerge as a point forward who they want with the ball late in games. Carlisle didn’t get into any details about the trade, but said that the talk isn’t serving as a distraction ahead of the Mavs’ game Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs.
“I talked to his agent this morning,” Carlisle said. “My expectation is that when his backs feeling good and he’s feeling well from an illness standpoint he’ll be back playing. We all get into this business knowing that it’s dynamic and that trades are possible. Everything’s possible, coaching changes, you name it. It’s already a boiling pot of water, and a couple of degrees here or there, big deal. We’ve all got to be professional.”
Mike Fisher: Rick Carlisle says he expected Dennis Smith Jr. to be at #Mavs practice today. Then coach spoke to agent. Then DSJ called in sick. Boiling pot.
Early this morning, Smith “liked” a Slam Magazine Instagram post that detailed the reported interest in him from Orlando and Phoenix and a Mavericks source confirmed to The News that trade discussions have accelerated to the point that it would be a major surprise if a deal isn’t struck. The source emphasized that neither Smith nor his agent has asked for a trade, but “if something is out there, they wouldn’t be opposed to it. I think this is kind of figuring out what the win-win is.”
So what happened to the Smith-Mavericks marriage that began so promisingly after the Mavericks made him the No. 9 pick of the June 2017 draft? NBA sources cite two factors: The swift ascendance of rookie Luka Doncic and quicker-than-expected trajectory change in the franchise’s outlook. And, to a lesser degree, the continued butting of heads between Smith and coach Rick Carlisle about some of the second-year guard’s on-court decision-making. “On a scale of one-to-10, it’s certainly not a zero,” a Mavericks source said of the Carlisle-Smith element. “It not a zero with any player. But I wouldn’t say it’s a 10, either. It’s a factor, but it’s not something that can’t be figured out if we end up moving forward with what we have, which is honestly what we want to do.”
John Gambadoro: The Suns have NO interest in Dennis Smith Jr from Dallas. There is nothing to any report suggesting the Suns have had any conversations with Dallas about him.
The Dallas Mavericks are escalating talks to trade guard Dennis Smith Jr., pushing to end a partnership that has run its course for both the franchise and former first-round pick, league sources tell ESPN. Two teams in pursuit of a point guard — Phoenix and Orlando — have been active in talks with the Mavericks, league sources said.
Dallas has sat Smith for three straight games with what the franchise has termed a sore back, but there’s motivation with the organization and Smith to find a new home for him, league sources said. Smith was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
Mitch Lawrence: Pistons have talked to the Mavs about Dennis Smith Jr., per sources.
Mike Fisher: From a second NBA source to http://DallasBasketball.com at 10:20 p.m.: “I think if #Mavs finds a deal they like a Dennis Smith Jr. trade can go down in the next 24 hours.’
Duane Rankin: Seeing #Mavs are looking to ship Dennis Smith Jr. and have been talking with #Suns and #Magic, but a league source familiar with the situation says Phoenix isn’t in talks with Dallas regarding the point guard.
The Mavs are staying very quiet on this subject, and maybe that’s because they (that is, upper management, at least) really are not the driving force behind these stories. As I wrote earlier on Monday night, we have no first-hand indications of unhappiness on the part of Dennis as it regards his teammates; he remains pals with Doncic and their girlfriends have also become best friends. But … now there is this: Just a few moments ago, more Jello squeezed out.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Dallas Mavericks are escalating discussions to find a trade for point guard Dennis Smith Jr., league sources tell ESPN. Phoenix and Orlando have engaged in ongoing talks with Mavs. Smith Jr., has sat out three straight games with what team has termed a sore back.
The Mavericks are 16-17 and fighting for a playoff spot. Several teams are also monitoring guard Dennis Smith, sources said, as he is nearing a return from a wrist injury that has forced him to miss 10 of the past 11 games.
.@Marc Stein mentions expectation among execs around league that Dennis Smith Jr. will eventually be moved. Mavs tell Steiny that they aren’t shopping Smith, but that’s semantics. Execs from other teams tell me that Mavs are at least gauging market for their 2017 lotto pick.
The Dallas Mavericks insist they are not shopping the second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr., but it’s a situation rival teams are monitoring. The instant emergence of the Dallas rookie Luka Doncic, combined with longstanding skepticism about Smith’s ability to flourish alongside Doncic in an off-the-ball capacity, has spawned the expectation among many executives that Smith will eventually be moved.
This is Smith’s third future in Dallas, one where he leaves. It’s not imminent, and it’s not what the Mavericks are hoping for. Strictly speaking from a value perspective, Dallas has the most to gain from Smith taking another step as a player while on their roster, rather than dealing him and his unrealized potential elsewhere. But again, that could eventually be Smith’s future. If he increasingly looks like an unnatural fit next to Doncic, or if his timeline still doesn’t mesh with Dallas’ accelerated one then the Mavericks may have no choice but to deal him. Doncic is 19, and the timeline doesn’t need to be accelerated, but it seems very clear that the people on top this team want to win again, and soon. If Smith doesn’t develop quick enough, then it might be in his best interests to find a team that won’t rush or suppress him, too.
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July 23, 2019 | 9:41 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Undrafted Boston College guard Ky Bowman has signed a two-way NBA contract with the Golden State Warriors, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
The N.B.A. has begun an investigation into how teams handled free agency this summer, focusing on whether improper inducements were offered to players to circumvent the salary cap, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation.
The issue was raised by multiple team owners at a meeting of the league’s board of governors this month in Las Vegas, according to the person, who requested anonymity because of a lack of authorization to speak publicly on the subject.
It is unclear what the scope of the investigation is, or whether the league, which declined to comment, is acting on information other than reports in the news media. The investigation follows one of the most tumultuous off-seasons in N.B.A. history, with many high-profile players switching teams. The N.B.A. is also exploring whether it needs to change its rules against tampering. Several players committed to signing with a team as soon as free agency negotiations officially opened at 6 p.m. on June 30 — even though teams were not allowed to begin recruiting before then. League rules prohibit players, coaches and front office executives from enticing an athlete under contract with another team to come play for their franchise.
Kyle Ratke: Jordan Bell said he thinks he’ll be able to show more of his versatility & skillset in Minnesota. Per 36 minutes in his two-year career, Bell has averaged 10.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 4.0 APG, 2.4 BPG & 1.2 SPG
July 23, 2019 | 9:13 pm EDT Update
Dane Moore: Asked Ryan Saunders today about Robert Covington starting at the 4. Saunders said “there is a strong possibility of that.” Saunders also said, “I have liked Andrew Wiggins playing the 2.” Sounds like the other wing spot is up for grabs — w/ Layman and Culver as frontrunners.
Dane Moore: Today, when Ryan Saunders was asked what his biggest focus for Andrew Wiggins is this summer, he nodded to the shot chart below and said: “Shot selection. Shot values. I think that’s really important. And it’s not something that’s just a suggestion in the NBA anymore.” pic.twitter.com/uaJoPuqJ9f