Rod Beard: #Pistons Hamidou Diallo and Rodney McGruder are upgraded to probable and Dennis Smith Jr. (lumbar soreness) is questionable for Friday vs. #Nets. Killian Hayes and Jahlil Okafor remain out.
More Rumors in this Storyline
The New York Knicks have acquired Derrick Rose, reuniting him with coach Tom Thibodeau for the third time, in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second-round pick (via Charlotte), according to multiple reports. HoopsHype spoke with four NBA scouts about their reaction to the trade and what it means for New York’s playoff chances and the development of rookie guard Immanuel Quickley.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” a longtime NBA scout told HoopsHype. “It’s going to affect Quickley’s minutes some, but he’s a rookie that can’t get too many and has still shown production. Rose can teach him some things which those other guards couldn’t. I think it’s a good thing. Smith wasn’t going to help.”
Mike Vorkunov: Tom Thibodeau throws out a blanket no comment on any Knicks trade reports. Says that’s a Leon Rose question. Rose has talked to media just once in his 11 months as Knicks president so we’ll see if that ever gets to be a question for Leon Rose.
Bobby Marks: There is no risk from the perspective of Detroit with this trade. The Pistons get a free look at Dennis Smith Jr. over the next 4 months, receive a 2nd rd. pick likely in the 40’s and also save salary.
For Detroit, the trade fulfills its desires to get younger and add more assets. Smith, the No. 9 pick in the 2017 draft, started off his NBA career on the right foot. But after averaging 15.2 points as a rookie with the Mavericks, he has since struggled to find his way in the league. He was traded to the Knicks in 2019 and had been gearing up to play for their G League affiliate in the Orlando bubble.
Smith may provide point-guard depth to the Pistons for the rest of the season while rookie point guard Killian Hayes recovers from a labrum tear in his right hip. It’s an opportunity for Smith, who is in the final year of his rookie deal and will become an unrestricted free agent if his $7.7 million qualifying offer for next season isn’t matched. The Pistons will shed close to $2 million in salary in the Smith-Rose swap.
The real jewel of the trade for the Pistons is the draft pick. Sources tell The Athletic that the Pistons will likely receive Charlotte’s second-round pick, which New York owns, and is currently slotted at No. 40.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is on the verge of coaching point guard Derrick Rose a third time. The Knicks and Pistons are nearing an agreement that would send Dennis Smith Jr. and a draft pick to the Pistons for Rose, as reported by The Athletic and confirmed by The Post.
A source said the Knicks and Pistons are still talking about the trade. Knicks president Leon Rose wasn’t in his customary courtside seat by midcourt for Sunday’s game against the Heat. Sources told The Post Saturday they wouldn’t include a first-round pick in any Rose deal. The draft pick is likely one of their slew of second-round picks.
According to a source, the Knicks, one of the NBA’s worst offenses statistically, still feel they need more firepower, especially at the end of games to have more options. Thibodeau likely won’t start Rose but he could close with him if the deal goes through.
Stefan Bondy: Today when I asked Thibodeau if his reputation for being hesitant to give young players minutes was fair, guess who he brought up? “Derrick Rose is the youngest MVP in the history of the league. So I don’t worry about that stuff.”
Shams Charania: The Detroit Pistons are nearing agreement on deal to send Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks for Dennis Smith Jr. and draft compensation, sources tell me and @JLEdwardsIII .
The Pistons are discussing Dennis Smith Jr. as a piece, sources tell Yahoo Sports. Smith has struggled to find footing with the Knicks, even volunteering to go to the G League to get extra playing time.
As we get closer to the draft, free agency and as trade talks heat up, there’s something worth noting about the Knicks’ point guard situation: Dennis Smith Jr. still has significant support in the organization and there are people with the Knicks would like to see Smith Jr. get a legitimate chance to bounce back after an uneven 2019-20 season.
Obviously, Smith Jr. wouldn’t be off limits in any trade, but the Knicks may be less willing to include him in a trade. Or they may be less inclined to sign another guard in free agency if they want to give Smith Jr. a regular role in 2021.
As we get closer to the draft, free agency and as trade talks heat up, there’s something worth noting about the Knicks’ point guard situation: Dennis Smith Jr. still has significant support in the organization and there are people with the Knicks would like to see Smith Jr. get a legitimate chance to bounce back after an uneven 2019-20 season. Smith dealt with injuries and the death of a close family member over the course of last season. We took a look at some of the context around Smith’s season in a mailbag earlier in the summer.
One NBA personnel man said Dallas’ two first-round picks (2021, 2023), Julius Randle and Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntilikina could whet the Pacers’ appetite. The 28-year-old Oladipo made the All-Star teams in 2018 and 2019, but could have lost explosiveness after tearing a tendon in his knee late in the 2018-19 season. Oladipo didn’t look sharp upon his return.
New president Leon Rose has no political attachment to Smith like Mills did. Trading Smith will be an option in the offseason as the Knicks try to figure out their point-guard solution. Minnesota had some interest, but the additions of D’Angelo Russell and combo guard Malik Beasley make the Timberwolves less likely to pounce. The Magic could be a suitor.
The Knicks and Charlotte Hornets have discussed a deal involving Julius Randle, league sources confirm. Terry Rozier, Malik Monk and Dennis Smith Jr. are among the names that have come up in discussions between the two franchises, per SNY sources. Rozier was a free agent target for New York over the summer but he ultimately signed a three-year, $58 million deal with Charlotte.
The trade deadline is Thursday, and Smith has drawn some interest, according to sources. The Timberwolves reportedly have interest. One NBA source told The Post that the Magic have inquired.
His reemergence the past three games has elicited speculation Knicks brass is simply showcasing him for a trade. “I’ve answered your trade-deadline questions,” Smith said smirking. “No more trade deadline questions.” Then he added later, “I want to be a Knick.” One source familiar with Smith’s thinking said, “He just wants to play.”
Even without a Morris deal, the Knicks could still be active before the trade deadline. Dennis Smith Jr. is hopeful for a relocation, according to a source, and it was believed the Timberwolves were the prime suitors before they traded Jeff Teague. One thing to keep in mind: the Knicks are looking for a point guard and, according to a source, are high on OKC’s Dennis Schroder.
Even without a Drummond splash, the Knicks could still be busy at the deadline. Dennis Smith Jr. is available and is certainly amenable to a relocation after struggling in New York. Marcus Morris is a strong asset on an expiring contract but the Knicks are hesitant to part with their best and most consistent player. The Knicks, according to a source, are more eager to part with Bobby Portis, who is also on an expiring deal but less valuable.
“Everything happens for a reason, you know what I’m saying?” Dennis Smith Jr. said after Thursday’s practice in Tarrytown. “It was already written, God’s plan, I just gotta execute my part, put my work in and everything will work out. It’s a business. I’m here, playing for the New York Knicks, that’s my job right now, so that’s what I’m focused on. You realized [last year] anything can happen, so you just gotta be the best version of yourself.”
“Dennis has been a professional,” Knicks interim coach Mike Miller said. “We’ve maintained communication all the way through. He continues to work on the things that he needs to do. It’s the same thing — can we just keep working to get better every day? Part of it, he goes through an injury where he can’t do a lot because of the nature of the injury. He had to look at doing some other things”
With two weeks left before the Feb. 6 trade deadline, the 22-year-old Smith remains behind Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina in the Knicks’ point-guard rotation. The 22-year-old former lottery pick potentially could be moved for the second consecutive year, but doing so would represent an admitted mistake by the Knicks’ front office after Smith was obtained from Dallas in last year’s Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster. “Everything happens for a reason, you know what I’m saying?” Smith said after Thursday’s practice in Tarrytown. “It was already written, God’s plan, I just gotta execute my part, put my work in and everything will work out.
“It’s a business. I’m here, playing for the New York Knicks, that’s my job right now, so that’s what I’m focused on. You realized [last year] anything can happen, so you just gotta be the best version of yourself.”
The Minnesota Timberwolves are among the teams who have interest in Smith Jr. Smith Jr. has missed the past four games due to injury. He is questionable for the Lakers game. The point guard has had an uneven season in Year Two with the Knicks. He was obtained by New York in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
While his teammates went through the morning shootaround Saturday at Georgetown University before taking on the Wizards, Dennis Smith Jr. casually put up some shots in sweatpants, resting a strained oblique and looking very little like a part of the team. But he insisted that despite growing rumors and the reality of his situation, he isn’t trying to force his way out of New York. While the Knicks hardly have hid the intentions of the front office — signing seven free agents to short-term deals this past summer and counting roster flexibility as the best hope for the group — their 8-24 record entering Saturday and crowded roster have the players interested in trades, too. According to an SNY report this week, Smith is one of several Knicks hoping to be traded.
Smith, who has seen his role diminish, is believed to be seeking a fresh start, but he denied that he has expressed that to the team. “It hasn’t been in my mind,” he said. “You know what I’m saying? My thing is to take care of what I got going on now. I’m with the New York Knicks, so I try to be the best version of me with this team. I like playing for the Knicks. So whatever I’ve got to do, I’m going to take care of that.”
According to The Athletic, NBA executives who contacted the Knicks are under the impression Smith would be amenable to a new start. Minnesota reportedly has shown interest.
Asked by The Post point blank at Saturday’s morning shootaround at Georgetown if he still wants to be here, Smith said, “I like playing for the Knicks. So whatever I’ve got to do, I’m going to take care of that.’’ So you want to be here? “Right, I want to be here.”
“It hasn’t been in my mind,’’ Smith added. “You know what I’m saying? My thing is to take care of what I got going on now. I’m with the New York Knicks, so I try to be the best version of me with this team.”
Nearly one year into the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis trade, rival teams believe Dennis Smith Jr. prefers a move from the Knicks. Several teams have made inquiries into the Knicks about Smith, sources say.
But the point guard factor is noteworthy because several teams, including the Minnesota Timberwolves, are interested in trading for Dennis Smith Jr., per SNY sources. Smith Jr., acquired by New York from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, was a DNP-CD in the two games prior to Tuesday’s win over Atlanta. He had eight points, five assists and five rebounds in 13 minutes against the Hawks.
It’s unclear what the Knicks would want back in a potential Smith trade. The degree of the Timberwolves’ interest in trading for him is also unknown. But one executive, speculating, said that getting a first-round pick back for Smith would be unlikely. Smith has competed with Elfird Payton and Frank Ntilikina for minutes at point guard. He has mostly come off the bench this season, a role he hadn’t filled much previously in his career.
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.”
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.”
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April 18, 2021 | 3:21 am EDT Update
Blake Murphy: Freddie Gillespie will sign a second 10-day contract with the Raptors tomorrow, per a source. No surprise. He played a lot by 10-day standards, impressed, and had Nick Nurse publicly vouch. Would think a partial guarantee through 2021-22 comes Apr 28, barring the unforeseen.
“I wouldn’t say (my passion has been) taken away, that’s probably a little bit too strong,” VanVleet said on Saturday. “But there’s certainly ups and downs to this thing more than I’ve ever experienced in my life. To be honest, this is probably the most unpure year of basketball I’ve ever been a part of, just from the whole league and rushing the season back. “It’s pretty much all about business this year on every level and it’s hard to hide it, you know what I’m saying? The NBA is a great balance of like the pure love and joy of one of the best sports in the world mixed with a billion-dollar industry, and I think this year the industry side has taken precedence over some of the love and the joy.”
“I can sit up here and complain about the NBA all I want to, but I’m a part of it, you know what I’m saying?” VanVleet said. “I’m directly profiting off of it. We did vote on what season we wanted. “But I can point out that this is what it is, and (these are the) the pros and cons that come with that. It’s very conflicting but not so much (because) of my craft, because I just go out there and that’s the way I play and that’s the way I approach every day. I’m (going to) take whatever consequences come with that because this is what I signed up for. But there’s certainly a lot of information that plays a role in all of these things that we’re seeing with our eyes. It’s not as simple as it looks all the time.”
After Celtics star Jayson Tatum scored 44 points to lead his team to a 119-114 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, overcoming a spectacular 47-point performance from Stephen Curry in the process, Tatum said it was a thrill for him to go toe-to-toe with the future Hall of Famer and come out on top. “Just mutual respect,” Tatum said, when asked about the conversation the two had on the court inside TD Garden afterward. “Obviously two big performances. I was glad that we got the win, but obviously he’s one of the all-time greats. “Just to earn his respect and get a win on the same night … it was a good night.”
Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry scored 47 points on Saturday night, becoming the first player since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant to score at least 30 or more points in 10 straight games at age 33 or older. Curry, in his 12th NBA season, acknowledged that this is one of the best stretches he’s ever been on during his storied career.
“Statistically, it is for sure,” Curry said after the 119-114 loss to the Boston Celtics. “This season’s required something a little bit different. I’m trying to meet that moment. It’s a fun brand of basketball, just trying to put wins together with it. And I have supreme confidence; I’ve been blessed with a very special skillset that I’m trying to continue to master and hone and get better at. And that’s showing, the work is showing, so I’m trying to obviously sustain that for this season because it’s required for us to get to where we want to go.”