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'Business' behind Dennis Smith Jr.'s absence from Mavericks



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 counting him to stay away from the team.

Smith has missed the last four games – three officially because of back soreness and the fourth for an illness – as reports swirled about the Mavs shopping in the trade market.

Smith did not report to the team facility for practice on Friday, and he did not join the Mavs for their two- game road trip to Indiana and Milwaukee.

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"I don't know what is 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 has 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. If you want to get away from it, listen to what it feels like in its best interests, it should trust its advisers. But it's not really his wish to be with his teammates.

" Feel strongly that people should not look at Dennis in this situation now and judge him, that is doing something against his teammates or the Mavs or anything like that. I just think this is a business-type situation, and this is what he is advised to do. "Glenn Schwartzman, who represents Smith, has not responded to several text messages requesting comment

Sources said ESPN on Thursday that the mavericks are optimistic that they can move forward with Smith, in 2017 lottery picks who recently expressed that he was to be traded. Sources said is frustrated with his role and has had friction with Carlisle since Rookie of the Year front-runner Luka Doncic seized the reins of the offense

Carlisle said after Friday's practice that he had reached out to Smith and Schwartzman to 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 could either work through [Mavs president of basketball operations] Donnie Nelson or myself to facilitate. That's where things are, and I'm hoping it comes back soon. "Several team sources have downplayed the issues regarding Carlisle's relationship with Smith, saying it's a typical case of a coach being demanding a talented young player. Carlisle said the dynamic between Smith and him, the 21-year-old point guard for the progress he has made in his second season.

"This kid is a professional," Carlisle said during his radio show. hard. He's become a better worker each year. I'm really proud of the progress he's made.

"I do coach him hard. The guys with the best levels of ability deserve to be coached the hardest, because they're the ones that have the chance for true greatness. I would not disrespect any player like Dennis Smith Jr. by holding back and not doing everything possible to bring out the best in him. I have that kind of respect for him and his ability. "Smith's absence is especially problematic for the Mavs after backup point guard JJ Barea suffered a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon last week. The NBA has awarded the Mavericks a Disabled Player Exception of $ 1.85 million with the loss of Barea for the season, league sources customs ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Dallas can use $ 1.85 million to buy in a trade with the exception, which expires March 11.

Smith is a 12.6 points, 3.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game, down from 15.2 points, 5.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game during his second-team All-Rookie campaign. However, his shooting percentages have improved significantly and have made major strides as a defender, highlighted by win-saving stops against All-Star candidates Tobias Harris and Paul George.

Carlisle acknowledged that Smith has some difficulty adjusting to the new dynamics created by the 19-year-old Doncic's rapid ascent to stardom. While Doncic and Smith have developed a friendship and frequently hang out together, they have struggled to create on-court chemistry, a factor in Smith's future with the Mavs being murky. [TheMavs'offensehassputteredwithSmithandDonciconthefloortogetherscoringonly1009pointsper100possessionsin687minuteswhichisonlyone-tenthofapointbetterthantheChicagoBulls'league-worstoffensiveefficiencyTheMavsaverage1084pointsper100possessionsoverall

"With Luka coming on the scene, things did change," Carlisle said. "It didn't go the way everybody expected it to go, so everyone's had to adjust. Luka's had to adjust, too. It's my job to monitor all that stuff and make sure that everybody's communicating right and that's working through things and stuff. But when you have Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. on the floor together, I mean, you have two certified NBA attackers. It's a great advantage to have. "[AskedifhewasconfidentthatSmithcouldstillbeAlong-termpieceoftheMavscoreCarlisletookashort-termview

"Look, that's why we drafted him," Carlisle said. "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." 19659023]
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