In an article detailing what teams might do with the trade deadline looming, NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Lakers have been linked to Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr.
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.
Dennis Smith Jr became available on the trade market following an apparent rift between him and the team over playing time and a potential fit with newly drafted young phenom Luka Doncic. Charania stated that the relationship between the two sides could be mended, but it’s likely that Smith Jr will end up playing for another team by next season.
Both sides needed to reunite, however, and Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle apologized to Smith on a phone conversation on Sunday and expressed remorse over the situation, sources said. Fences needed to be mended, and Smith returned to the Mavericks for Tuesday’s home game against the Los Angeles Clippers and the sides will see how the new reuniting period goes.
For the Lakers, this fit makes a lot of sense as they are in desperate need of a point guard following Lonzo Ball’s grade three left ankle injury. Aside from that, Dennis Smith Jr is a dynamic scoring threat which is something that the Lakers need with their defensive production soaring and their offensive numbers below average.