Possible Dallas / Orlando Trade Idea

high floor
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Possible Dallas / Orlando Trade Idea

With the Magic looking like a playoff bubble team, I only think this deal would take place if they were to hit the skids by either injury or simply less effective play that result in a lot of losses the next couple months.

My thought here is that Orlando really, really needs a point guard, and Doncic needs athletes / shooters at his disposal to maximize the dynamic nature of his game.

Dallas receives:

  • Aaron Gordon,

Orlando receives

  • Dennis Smith Jr, Wes Matthews

Why Dallas does this deal. The Smith Jr, Doncic fit has been decent. Smith Jr's shooting percentages have gone up..... but I'm skeptical that Dennis will reach his full potential playing off the ball so much. They get a versatile, 22yo forward in Gordon who I think could really flourish defensively under Rick Carlisle & finally play in a consistent uptempo environment. Which suits his strengths as a supremely athletic combo forward.

Why Orlando does this deal. Again, I only think Orlando makes this trade if they hit an extended rough patch & slide down the standings. Or if they lose 1-2+ of their key starters to injury. History has shown thats in play.... as Vucevic, Fournier, Ross & Isaac have all exhibited a propensity for injury. This deal gives them additional cap relief, and DSJ pairs with Isaac, Bamba & their 2020 lottery pick (Cam Reddish perhaps???) for an intriguing young core for the future.


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Mavs have nothing on the

Mavs have nothing on the books next year aside from rookie contracts, Powell player option (10 mil) and Barnes player option (25 mil). They can easily just pay for a guy like Aaron Gordon to come in and give them 16 and 7 and I think they will be trying to keep their options open for next years free agency so they can make a splash. However I would make a move for Isaac or Bamba because DSJ and Doncic dont seem to operate to well together.

Smith's never been very productive off the ball. He struggles when he isnt the alpha and this was his problem at NC State too. When they gaurded him man-to-man and you gave him the ball and said "make something happen" he would get the job done. But when teams loaded up on him or switched to zone and gave him no room to breath he couldnt find ways to help his team as a second/third option or complimentary piece. They are both really young so I would say give them a chance to work it out and try to have them spend a summer together working out and figuring out how they can be effective together but even getting two guys together during the offseason when they absolutely have no obligation to be using their free time on more work is a very difficult task.

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Dennis Smith Jr. just isn't

Dennis Smith Jr. just isn't that good, let's be honest here. He's a ball-dominant undersized combo guard who can't really shoot from distance. Imagine a more athletic Lou Williams who can't shoot.

high floor
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It's possible. Totally fair take IMO

But I believe in his ceiling. He's so athletic and has awesome physical tools / explosiveness for the point guard position. His jump shot off the dribble needs work. That has to improve. His form has a tendency to break down leading to inconsistency from the field & the charity stripe. His defense, when locked in, can be good. Did you see that game winning block the other night?? That was impressive.

He has pretty good hesitation moves, but not as much "shake" as I thought he'd have. He can be a bit turnover prone and surprisingly only averages 2+ FT attempts per game. Low for a guy with his attributes.

Kyle Lowry's splits (a popular comp) when he was a sophomore were;

  • 9.6pts, 3.0rebs, 3.6assists, 1.1stls, 43%FG, 69% FT in 26 minutes per game

I believe Lowry's defense, intangibles & general court awareness were a bit higher than DSJ at the same stage of his career........ but I believe these numbers serve as a good reminder the Dennis could still significantly improve in the coming years.

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As a Mavs fan I do like this

As a Mavs fan I do like this trade, but...

-The main reasoning for it is DSJ might not reach his full potential with the Mavs!! but for the Mavs the question really is he going to be better player for us than Aaron Gordon? I think there is a legit chance he can even if he can better somewhere else.

-The Mavs right now doesn't have a clear strategy for the future, we are gonna build a team around Luka for sure but through draft? Free agency or trade? the Mavs seem optimistic about their free agency chances for whatever reason, not that I agree with that.

-That said, this makes it smart for the Mavs to wait till July before doing such a trade, since it is unlikely that Magic cares about Wes Matthews Bird rights, the Mavs in July can just absorb Aaron Gordon contract and give DSJ, but this gives us time to see if we can get one of our targets in free agency and play the season out with DSJ to see more how can he develop with Luka

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I think the Mavs are using

I think the Mavs are using this yr to gauge how far away they are from true contender status, and its safe to say the answer is far away but not THAT far.

Doncic is a LeBron-like talent, an instant impact rookie so there's no reason to do a full multi-year rebuild especially with the veteran talent they already have on the roster. Doncic has better vision and playmaking ability than DSJ, so they don't really need him and would do better with a group of versatile forwards running the wings as Doncic runs the show.

Doncic-Barnes-Gordon-DSJ is about as versatile as it gets, all they need is a low usage PG that can shoot

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Trade

I like this trade for both teams, but I would not be so quick to dismiss DSJ long-term in general. I think we are seeing a trend in the NBA that point guard development takes a little more time than we previously expected. We were briefly spoiled with Paul/Curry/Westbrook/Rose/Irving coming into the league and having a pretty immediate impact. Since Damian Lillard won ROTY, here is what the lottery point guard landscape looks like (not including primarily off-ball guys like Oladipo):

2013

  • Trey Burke- topping out as a 7th man

2014

  • Exum- injury appears to have ruined his career, never developed.
  • Smart- high level utility guard, could maybe start on another team but not as primary initiator.
  • Payton- low-level starter/6th man

2015

  • Russell- may develop into a mid-level starter
  • Mudiay- looks better lately but was literally the most damaging player in the league for the Nuggets
  • Payne- bust

2016

  • Simmons- biggest success story, but debateable that he is exactly a point guard.
  • Dunn- looking like a Marcus Smart-type career at best
  • Murray- solid, but should probably be a two guard

2017

  • Fultz- oof
  • Ball- I still believe, but probably needs a change of scenery
  • Fox- looks a lot better no doubt
  • Ntkilikina- mostly a wing, not great
  • DSJ- turnover prone but has moments

2018

  • Young- everything depends on the 3, and he's at 24%
  • Sexton- getting better, but last in the NBA in RPM
  • Alexander- looks good, but oddly low usage

Who will be the guy out of this group to break in to the All Star game aside from Simmons? Eventually the previous generation will age out, but point guard in the modern game is hard and we may have been spoiled by a golden age of point guards. DSJ has as much talent as any of these guys, but with Doncic being a better source of offense, he isn't really necessary on the Mavs.

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Great for Dallas, horrible

Great for Dallas, horrible for Orlando.

high floor
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Elaborate please

Do you think Gordon will be a significantly better player than Isaac? If yes, then I can respect your take. For me, I'm skeptical of Gordon's long term fit next to Jonathan Isaac. And maybe I just have rose-colored glasses on, but I'm still a believer in Jonathan.

Or are you just low on Dennis Smith Jr? I hedged a bit on this post..... as i only think Orlando considers this deal if they experience some misfortune with injuries or they simply regress and fall out of the playoff picture.

If either occurs, it makes sense for Orlando to add another intriguing young piece, to balance out their frontcourt prospects with a backcourt prospect. Then roll the dice 1 more time on the draft & go to work in 2019-2020 with 4 young lottery picks on rookie deals ready to be developed.

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