The New York Knicks have been making a lot of moves to clear up cap space as they prepare to offer a massive bid for Dallas Mavericks free agent Jalen Brunson. If the 25-year-old ends up walking away from the Mavs, then they would obviously need to try and find a replacement for him. It will be close to impossible to replace Brunson and what he brings to the table for the Mavs, but Dallas will need to try.
Former lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr., who the Mavs selected ninth overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, believes that he could be the missing piece for his former team. The 24-year-old's current deal with the Portland Trail Blazers will come to an end in the coming days, and now that he's about to become a free agent again, Smith believes that Luka Doncic and the Mavs have to give him a long look:
“They need [more] athleticism, someone who can get to the rim and play in transition,” Smith tells DallasBasketball.com. “It's no question about what I'll bring on the defensive side.”
Smith actually had a lot of promise early on in his career with the Mavs. As a rookie, he averaged 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.0 steals, while also connecting on 1.5 triples per game. The following year, Dallas shipped him off to the New York Knicks as part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal.
Smith has since been struggling to make an impact in the NBA. However, he seems to think that a move back to the Mavs will not only work in his favor but for Dallas as well.