Dennis Smith Jr calls in sick to practice as trade rumors swirl
The Dallas Mavericks are said to be searching for possible trade partners for Dennis Smith Jr, and the former first-round pick may be doing his part to accelerate the process.
Smith was not at practice on Tuesday, and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle made it clear that the absence was not scheduled. While the point guard has missed the past three games with back soreness and is listed as questionable for Wednesday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, Carlisle told reporters Smith called in sick to practice on Tuesday.
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.
— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) January 15, 2019
It’s certainly possible Smith really was feeling under the weather, but the the fact that Carlisle mentioned to the media that he spoke with Smith’s agent first seems quite telling.
With Luka Doncic looking like the future cornerstone of the Mavericks’ franchise, Smith has taken on a new role that does not appear to be working out. That has led to Dallas shopping him in trade talks, and a report on Monday stated that Smith and Carlisle are not seeing eye-to-eye and the team is ramping up its efforts to move him.
Smith had a promising rookie season last year with 15.2 points and 5.2 assists per game, but he is averaging 12.6 points this season and seems to want a fresh start.