The Magic had the opportunity to get Dennis Smith Jr. in 2017 and decided not to. Looks like they now have a second chance.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Dallas Mavericks have become more aggressive in shopping the 21-year-old point guard. The Magic, Woj adds, along with the Phoenix Suns, have expressed interest...
The Dallas Mavericks are escalating discussions to find a trade for point guard Dennis Smith Jr., league sources tell ESPN. Phoenix and Orlando have engaged in ongoing talks with Mavs. Smith Jr., has sat out three straight games with what team has termed a sore back.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 15, 2019
The Magic passed on Smith during the 2017 NBA Draft, much to the chagrin of many Magic fans at the time, when they used the sixth pick to draft Jonathan Isaac. That left the keys to the Magic offense in the hands of then-point guard Elfrid Payton.
With prized rookie Luka Doncic now serving as the primary ballhandler in the Mavs’ offense, Smith has become expendable.
The question is, what are the Magic willing to part with, and will in be enough to top any offers the Suns or another interested team may offer?
The Magic, in dire need of point guard depth, seem hellbent on making the playoffs, which would bring an end to their franchise-long six year playoff drought. The odds of that happening become more likely with an upgraded point guard combination of D.J. Augustin and Smith, which would demote Isaiah Briscoe and Jerian Grant and bring an end to the ill-conceived but seemingly necessary plan to give back-up point guard minutes to Jonathon Simmons.
Question is, what would the Magic be willing to sacrifice in order to make a win-now trade for Smith? If making the playoffs this season is the goal, that seemingly removes free-agent-to-be Nikola Vucevic from trade discussions, even in a deal that may bring in a long-term asset. Aaron Gordon has a trade-friendly contract but it seems unlikely the Magic, despite their frontcourt logjam, would deal him for an unproven player being discarded pretty prematurely by the team that drafted him (concerning?). Also unlikely that the Magic be willing to part with one of their young but raw building blocks, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba, for a talented but flawed point guard.
That leaves Terrence Ross, Simmons and draft picks as the Magic’s primary trade chips. Ross, also bound for unrestricted free agency, is making $10.5 million this season. Matching his salary with that of Smith ($3.8 million) would require the inclusion of additional pieces that may not be of interest to the Magic.
Simmons, however, when packaged with the Magic’s 2019 first round unprotected draft pick....
Simmons, making $6 million this season, is owed $5.7 million next season, only $1 million of which is guaranteed. That means the Mavs could easily dispose of him next season if they so choose.
Should Smith help catapult the Magic back into the postseason this season, that would leave the draft pick Orlando surrendered in the middle of the first round of what isn’t expected to be a particularly deep draft.
Barring the inclusion of additional future picks, that might not be lucrative enough to top the Suns. Phoenix is in need of a point guard even worse than the Magic and have young pieces on comparable contracts such as Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges, Kelly Oubre and others to part with, if they are interested as Woj reported.
The Suns have NO interest in Dennis Smith Jr from Dallas. There is nothing to any report suggesting the Suns have had any conversations with Dallas about him.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) January 15, 2019
While the addition of the uber-athletic Smith would no doubt bolster the Magic’s point guard depth, he also has limitations that raise questions as to whether he’d an ideal fit for Orlando. Averaging 12.6 points and 3.9 assists this season, Smith in his young career has shot just 40.5 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three, though he has improved considerably from his rookie to sophomore season, albeit will taking fewer attempts (39.5% to 44.3% from the field and 31.3% to 37.5% from three).
For a team that struggles to produce consistent offense, and suffers from a lack of spacing as is, the Magic could be better served to target a pass-first point guard that is a better decision-maker and more reliable outside threat. Smith, though, would certainly bring upside and excitement, and would satisfy those who still believe the Magic should have drafted him.
Hard to see the Magic overpaying just to make the playoffs this season, when they will have options come summer.
Just throwing these trade scenarios out there for the hell of it ( I personally wouldn’t trade any member of B.I.G. in a deal for Smith). Any appeal to you?
Bamba for Smith?
Smith and Harrison Barnes for Terrence Ross, Evan Fournier and the Magic’s 2019 first round pick?
Smith and Wesley Matthews for Aaron Gordon?
Let’s see what Twitter has to say, including some of the unrealistic, illogical and insane trade offers that have surfaced....
Bring Dennis Smith Jr to Orlando please. This is what I wanted on draft night 2 years ago.— From 1-5 to Playoffs (@wristmotion3000) January 15, 2019
Realistic Trade is Dennis Smith Jr is Traded to Orlando Magic? Mavs get J. Issac (young/athletic defender), and N. Vucevic (Stretch PF/C, Scorer/3pt Shooter) pic.twitter.com/JDJjvzZKaq— Legend Sportz (@LegendSportz) January 15, 2019
I turned on @wojespn twitter notifications and now I’m just patiently waiting for a “The Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks have agreed on a trade for Dennis Smith Jr” #GoMagic pic.twitter.com/pRd1oN6NnT— TerrioJT (@HoneyNutTerrios) January 15, 2019
Should Orlando do this trade with Dallas to get Dennis Smith Jr.— Jonathan Joyner (@mrjjoyner) January 8, 2019
How about this trade for Orlando Magic to get Dennis Smith Jr.— Jonathan Joyner (@mrjjoyner) January 14, 2019
1.MAGIC gets DENNIS SMITH JR
2.Mavs gets Patrick Beverely
3. LA Clippers gets PG Grant,Spaulding&2nd rd pick pic.twitter.com/LbI3v9NZwO
Dennis Smith in Orlando pic.twitter.com/41CbeUSOIL— Underrated IdrisDaGoat6 (@ImThat6MB) January 15, 2019
Orlando is literally a Dennis Smith Jr. away from competing.— Bus, the Art Guy (@BillionBus) January 15, 2019
Keep in mind that Orlando really needs a young PG option to pair with their other young guys. And this draft is not exactly flush with good PG options.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 15, 2019
The Magic won't sacrifice their future for the playoffs this year, but they'd really like to get back in the postseason soon. https://t.co/bxynZPM43s