Mavs coach Rick Carlisle has reached out to Dennis Smith Jr., says guard is welcome back at any time
The Dallas Mavericks recently listed guard Dennis Smith Jr. as “questionable” with an illness, missing Friday’s practice ahead of a Saturday game against the Indiana Pacers. Head coach Rick Carlisle has reached out to him and his agent, and expressed that he is welcomed back whenever he desires to rejoin the team.
“When he’s feeling better, he’s welcome to rejoin the team at any time,” said Carlisle. “We would love to have him back.”
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) January 18, 2019
Earlier reports suggested the reasons of “illness” were just a mask for the real reason beyond his absence, deciding not to play for the team any longer in hopes to seek out a trade.
The tension between Smith and Carlisle is palpable, as the guard recently broke off play calls Carlisle had instructed to run in hopes to generate offense his way. This is only one of the many reasons Carlisle has been irked with the second-year point man, which has made the situation all the more difficult to handle as he strays from the team.
The Mavs have quickly opted to play Luka Doncic as the primary playmaker in Smith’s absence after J.J. Barea went down with a season-ending injury.
The experiment has worked, but moving on from Smith will be complicated, given the little leverage the Mavs have with the rest of front offices keenly aware that they aren’t in the best position to make demands.
Carlisle’s words rang rather empty, more so as something he had to say in front of media members than his usual candid words on his players.