Mavericks PG Smith to miss road trip
The impasse between the Dallas Mavericks and second-year point guard Dennis Smith Jr. continues, and coach Rick Carlisle said Friday that Smith won't be on an upcoming two-game road trip.
Smith, who is unhappy with the club, didn't report to practice on Friday, according to Carlisle. The Mavericks visit the Indiana Pacers on Saturday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.
Smith has missed the past four games while reportedly being frustrated with his role and having heavy friction with Carlisle.
The club listed back soreness as the reason for why Smith missed three straight games. Then Smith's agent called in sick for his client for a practice on Tuesday and for Wednesday's 105-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Multiple reports claim Smith is upset that his role is different this season with rookie star Luka Doncic evolving as the leader of the offense.
Carlisle said he reached out to Smith and his agent on Thursday night to reiterate he'd like the 21-year-old to return to the team.
"Dennis Smith is not here, but I wanted to let everybody know that I reached out to him and his agent last night to let them know that when he's feeling better he's welcome to rejoin the team at any time," Carlisle told reporters. "We would love to have him back. In his year and a half here he has started every game that he has been available to play, and during that period of time he has experienced significant growth on both sides of the ball. And I'm very proud of the progress that he has made.
"So that's where we are. I don't expect him to be on this trip, but, again, I just think that he's part of this team and we'd love to have him back."
The Dallas Morning News reported earlier this week that Smith craves a fresh start with a new team.
Smith is averaging 12.6 points, 3.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds this season. As a rookie, he averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds.
The Mavericks selected Smith with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He played one season at North Carolina State.
--Field Level Media
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