Ben Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr traded words during Wednesday’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks.
Matters between them began after Smith taunted Simmons for getting dunked on by Kevin Knox:
Ben Simmons takes a huge L here pic.twitter.com/ppw3oHui0N
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 14, 2019
Then as the teams headed off for halftime, Smith said something to Simmons, who responded:
Ben Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr exchange some words pic.twitter.com/ZhCplNNUXL
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 14, 2019
Philly got the last laugh because, let’s be honest, everyone beats the Knicks. Smith only had 15 points on 5/15 shooting, compared to 18 for Simmons in 34 minutes of work. If this is the start of a rivalry between the two players, we’re here for it.
Dennis Smith Jr. fell out of favor with the Dallas Mavericks some time ago, and now he’s relishing a fresh start with the New York Knicks.
However, Smith does have at least one regret — that the Mavericks traded him to New York after they had their final game against the Knicks this season.
“I just want to play them,” Smith said of the Mavericks according to The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov. “They wanted to package me, DJ, and Wes and send us over here. I just wish they would’ve did it before we didn’t play them anymore.”
Ironically, in Smith’s final game in Dallas, he dropped a triple-double against the Knicks on January 30 and was then traded the following day.
Although the Knicks and Mavericks won’t meet again this season, expectations are that Smith will remain in New York next season and get his opportunity to exact some revenge on Dallas.
Dennis Smith Jr. likely won’t be able to get away with not giving maximum effort on the defense as a member of the New York Knicks.
Smith went to the Knicks as part of the blockbuster trade that saw Kristaps Porzingis head to the Dallas Mavericks. The second-year guard should have plenty of opportunities to show what he can do with New York. However, he will need to focus on defense as well as offense to stay on the floor under head coach David Fizdale.
David Fizdale says he wants to put the ball in Dennis Smith Jr.’s regularly and that he will challenge him to improve on the defensive end.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 2, 2019
The Knicks have been among the worst defensive teams in the NBA so far this season. Fizdale hopes the arrival of veterans DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews will help the team’s young players improve on defense.
David Fizdale says he wants to find minutes for DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews Jr. because he believes it will help the younger Knicks learn defensive principles.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 2, 2019
Fizdale has a young team on his hands and it sounds like he’s counting on Jordan and Matthews to help with the development of the those players. Their development could be in key in potentially supplementing big name free agents should the Kicks sign any with the salary cap space they freed up with the Porzingis trade.
The NBA trade deadline is only two weeks away, and it’s safe to assume that some teams are already chatting about deals and gauging interest in moves. The NBA’s deadline is not known to be the most robust trade deadline in sports, but it’s certainly an event, and we’ve seen some important deals made over the years at this time of year.
Who’s on the block this year? Who may depart a losing franchise to play for a contender down the stretch? Here are ten names who could be on the move before Feb. 7.
10) Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies
A Gasol trade seems unlikely, but cannot be completely ruled out. He’s not quite the player he was in his prime, but he remains a guy who can chip in 15 points and eight rebounds per game while playing sound defense. He won’t come cheap, and has a player option worth over $25 million for next season, but the Grizzlies are going nowhere and Gasol may be eager to finish off his career with a contender, making him a potentially worthwhile trade pursuit. Plus, Memphis seems willing to listen to offers for him.
The Dallas Mavericks have played the past several games without Dennis Smith Jr, but it looks like the guard will return to action for the team this week.
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle told his team at practice on Sunday that Smith will return for their game against the Clippers on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s 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.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 20, 2019
Smith has not played since the team’s Jan. 7 loss to the Lakers. He has missed five games in a row — the Mavs have gone 2-3 in that span.
Smith was missing time amid trade rumors, but Carlisle and Smith apparently spoke, leading Smith to report.
The Dallas Mavericks have been trying to trade point guard Dennis Smith Jr, but it sounds like a lack of interest could force them to reevaluate the former first-round pick’s future with the team.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported on Thursday that the Mavericks are intent on not trading Smith unless they get solid value in return, and they are optimistic that they may be able to smooth things over with him and not move him at all. Team sources told MacMahon the Mavs are still confident Smith can turn into a star, with one source saying “Plan A is still to fix this,” not trade him.
Smith has not been seeing eye-to-eye with Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, and he is said to be unhappy with his role on the team. However, MacMahon was told that some of that talk has been overblown and Carlisle is simply trying to help Smith develop. The coach would reportedly welcome the opportunity to continue coaching Smith.
Of course, the Mavericks don’t want to do anything that is going to slow the progress of Luka Doncic, who they believe is the future of their franchise. Smith has taken on a new role with Dallas looking to cater their offense to the rookie, and that is what appears to be causing much — if not all — of the friction between Smith and the team.
Smith is averaging 12.6 points per game this season, which is a step back from a promising rookie year in which he scored 15.2 and had 5.2 assists per game. The former NC State star has missed the past four games with what the team initially called back soreness, but there have been questions about whether or not something else is at play.
Dennis Smith Jr remains “sick” as the Dallas Mavericks explore trade options for the second-year player.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told reporters on Wednesday that Smith is sick and would not be available for the team’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle says Dennis Smith Jr. is "still sick" and not available tonight. Smith tweeted this afternoon about meeting a fan while out for lunch. Carlisle declined to say whether he had talked to Smith.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 16, 2019
Seeing a player miss action amid trade rumors is nothing new. Teams often hold players out of action to avoid injuries while they’re trying to strike a deal.