Mavs talking Smith Jr trade; Suns, Magic, Pistons interested

Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. could still be on the move before the trade deadline.

The Dallas Mavericks are ramping up trade conversations centered on second-year point guard and former lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr., according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski.

Among those interested, per Wojnarowski, are the point guard-starved Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic.

The Detroit Pistons have also expressed interest, added longtime NBA insider Mitch Lawrence.

“Few names as hot as Smith right now on the trade market,” Zach Lowe of ESPN reported. “Tons of buzz.”

Smith Jr. has missed three straight games through Monday with what the team has called a sore back. While Mavs coach Rick Carlisle has insisted Smith Jr. and top-flight rookie Luka Doncic can play off each other, others aren’t so sure.

Both need the ball to succeed, and so far, Doncic has been the team’s dominant force.

In addition to Smith, the Mavs are searching for trades that would invlude shooting guard Wes Matthews, “who is making $18.6 million in the final year of his contract,” ESPN reported.

“Coach Rick Carlisle and Smith have struggled to find a common ground,” ESPN added. “The arrival of rookie of the year favorite┬áLuka Doncic┬áhas pushed Smith off the ball and changed the trajectory of his role with the team. Carlisle has often been frustrated with Smith’s decision-making.”

The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 7.