Tag: Dallas Mavericks

Dennis Smith Jr. May Be A Diamond In The Rough For The Knicks

In Friday night’s loss vs the Pistons, Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. scored a career-high 31 points and dished out 8 assists to his new teammates.

Dennis isn’t missing a beat after being traded from the Mavericks during the trade deadline. Coach David Fizdale has placed his trust in the young guard and it is showing in his recent play as a Knick.

“I’m enjoying playing basketball not enjoying losing, but I’m having fun going out there and competing,” Dennis said after Pistons game.

In Dennis’ first 3 games as a Knick, he is averaging 21.3 points and 6.7 assists on 46% from the field. Dennis has shown that he is already the best player on this team and is connecting with his team.

On the other hand, Dennis still struggles with shooting the basketball as he misses free throws and is shooting below 30% from 3 so far with the Knicks.

If Dennis finds a consistent shooting stroke, the Knicks may not need Kyrie Irving in the summer. Shooting is the key factor that will elevate Dennis’ game.

The Knicks let go of some big pieces during the trade deadline, Kristaps Porzingis being the biggest loss, but Dennis is already showing the potential that he can grow into a star and be the best player on a team.

The Knicks are looking forward to the summer as the draft and free agency takes place. They must look at the possibilities if Zion Williamson, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving don’t land there. Do the Knicks believe that Dennis can be a big-time player for them?

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The Dallas Mavericks Won The Trade Deadline

No one expected the Dallas Mavericks to make a bunch of moves during the trade deadline. But Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson, and the Dallas Mavericks organization were extremely active and made some blockbuster trades that have turned their franchise around.

Also to mention the trade that brought Luka Doncic to Dallas last June in the draft. This was a callback to the 1998 NBA Draft where the Mavericks traded Robert Traylor for Dirk Nowitzki.

Now Luka has emerged as the star of the Dallas Mavericks franchise. As each day goes by, the Mavericks are looking like geniuses for making that trade with Atlanta.

The Mavericks have taken big risks and were able to turn expiring contracts and aging players into a young core plus cap space to spend in free agency.

Dallas-Sacramento Trade Details:

Dallas Receives:
Justin Jackson
Zach Randolph

Sacramento Receives:
Harrison Barnes

The Mavericks are now able to sign a big-time free agent this summer. After the Porzingis deal, one of the concerning factors was Dallas’ cap space going into free agency. After getting rid of Harrison Barnes’ contract, the Mavericks are now in contention to sign at least one big time free agent with around $30 million in cap space.

Possible free agent targets being Nikola Vucevic, Demarcus Cousins or Klay Thompson. The Mavericks are a dark horse team to sign one of these guys. Now that they have a core of Luka and Kristaps, Dallas may be a more attractive destination for free agents.

The Mavericks showed that they are geared towards free agency and could care less about how the season plays out now. The future looks bright in Dallas but there is still more work to be done. It will interesting to see how the Mavericks play their cards this free agency.

The Endgame For The Knicks/Mavericks Rebuild

With the recent blockbuster trade that was announced earlier today between the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks, the two teams took franchise-altering deals that can either boom in their favor or blow up right in their faces.

The two franchises are in the midst of rebuilding and trying to contend in the near future. The 2019 NBA free agency will dictate the future of each franchise.

The question arises of how does this deal benefit each team in the long run?

Just a recap for the trade here are the full details:

Dallas Mavericks Receive

Kristaps Porzingis
Courtney Lee
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Trey Bure

New York Knicks Receive

Dennis Smith Jr.
Wesley Matthews
DeAndre Jordan
Two future First Round Picks (one unprotected, one protected)

Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson, and the Dallas Mavericks are known to be major risk takers and this trade is a prime example of the Mavericks being a risk-taking franchise. The Mavericks will pair Kristaps Porzingis with Luka Doncic and they will be the core star players going into the future.

The Mavericks have had eyes on Porzingis for years and with the connections of Dirk Nowitzki and Luka to him, Porzingis to Dallas seemed very likely in the future. Porzingis looked up to Dirk growing up and also spent time working out over the summer in 2017. Also, Porzingis and Luka are close friends, both playing against each other while they were overseas.

Luka is now going to be the point guard for this team with Dennis Smith Jr. gone and now the Mavericks have some serious pieces around them to contend in the future.

The Mavericks will now look to free agency to chase Demarcus Cousins or Klay Thompson and that will be the end of the rebuild for the Mavericks.

Some sleepers the Mavericks may also have eyes on are that of Willie Cauley-Stein and Goran Dragic.

On the other side of this trade, The Knicks were able to secure a young developing guard in Dennis Smith Jr. along with two future picks and reliving cap space. This will put the Knicks in play to sign 2 max free agents and also draft a player such as Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett.

The Knicks are confident they can land Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant along with a top 3 Pick in the draft. If they succeed in this, their rebuild will be complete and now you have a scary core of Dennis Smith Jr., Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kevin Knox and either Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett.

If the Knicks do not succeed in this trade then another year of mediocrity and losing will be in play next season. The Knicks are banking heavily that a top free agent will come, but the possibility of them landing no one is an unfortunate possible outcome.

This trade took a lot of guts for each side to pull off and it was impressive on how they got it done in a short amount of time. For a Mavericks fan, you are happy with the Luka/Porzingis duo. For a Knicks fan, you are hopeful all the cards fall into your favor in free agency.

Dallas Mavericks agree to trade for New York Knicks All-Star Kristaps Porzingis

The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to trade for New York Knicks All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis in a blockbuster deal earlier this evening. Porzingis has stepped foot on the court yet this season due to suffering an ACL injury last February.

Along with Porzingis, the Mavericks also received Tim Hardaway Jr. Trey Burke, and Courtney Lee while the Knicks received Deandre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr, and a future draft pick.

Porzingis was named to the All-Star team last season before his injury with the potential to become one of the best players in the NBA and the face of the New York Knicks franchise. He had averaged 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game during his time in the Big Apple. He averaged his career high in points (22.7) and blocks (2.4) last season before injury.

Now with the addition of Porzingis on the Mavs, we now the duo of two young talented players from Europe (Porzingis and Luka Doncic). Doncic is a most likely to win the Rookie of the Year award and is a future All-Star in the league. 

It was reported that Kristaps had been frustrated with the Knicks Organization for quite some time now and requested for a trade when in a meeting earlier today with the Knicks front office.

This is no surprise since the Knicks currently have the worst record in the NBA and have done nothing since to try and help the team gain more victories. They had potentially gotten worse since drafting Porzingis to the team winning 31 wins his rookie season, 30 games won his sophomore season and 29 wins his third year. This is what led to Porzingis’ frustration with NY. 

Also, since his arrival to the NBA, the Knicks have had three different head coaches and second front-office change. With all these changes going on in the Knicks franchise as of late can definitely cause a lot of stress and frustration to players.

The Knicks also have given up Tim Hardaway Jr in this trade along with the huge contract given to him during the 2017 offseason. Both Deandre Jordan and Wesley Matthews have expiring contracts coming up during the next offseason and now the Knicks might have a bigger chance on signing bigger names such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Roy Tarpley and How He Got Banned From the NBA for Drinking

The date was November 28th, 1964. Lyndon Baines Johnson was still President, the Vietnam War was starting to spark mass protests and riots, and Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics were on their way to a seventh straight championship. And somewhere in the Big Apple – New York, New York – a young boy by the name of Roy James Tarpley was born.

Skip to 18 years later, at the University of Michigan, Roy Tarpley’s averaging just nine minutes a game. But after 13 games off the bench the next season, it was decided that he’d been doing well enough that he would be the starting center for Michigan from then on.

And they would not change their mind. He proved them right by averaging a solid 12 and eight his sophomore year, before increasing those numbers significantly to 19 and 10 for his junior season, being named Big Ten Player of the Year.

Despite being a consensus top-five pick and seeing lots of suggestions to leave early though, he stayed for his senior season, which… well, it wasn’t the right move.

His numbers went down and he fell down to pick #7, but that’s still a very high slot in the draft.

One thing that definitely was a shame from his time at Michigan though: they never made it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament, despite the fact that they spent one year as a one seed and one as a two seed.

As I said earlier, he went on to be picked seventh, by the Dallas Mavericks, sandwiched between the Suns’ choice of William Bedford and the Cavaliers’ of Ron Harper.

The Dallas Mavericks had only existed for six years before he joined the team, but at this point, they were in a very good place. They’d made the playoffs the last three years with winning records, and the last three top ten picks that they’d gotten were Dale Ellis, Sam Perkins, and Detlef Schrempf. Three players who all turned out to have very good careers.

Tarpley didn’t start out amazing certainly – he averaged just seven points and seven rebounds in limited minutes off the bench, only starting one game and playing 18 minutes per game; in the playoffs though, he made himself known with averages of 13 points and 10 rebounds throughout their series against the Sonics, including a game where he had 25 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks.

And that absolutely translated into a great sophomore season. While most players seem to have a sophomore slump, he won Sixth Man of the Year, averaged 13.5 points and 11.8 rebounds in 28 minutes per game off the bench, plus an assist, a steal, and a block per game.

If you want to refer to advanced stats, he had the highest total rebound percentage and highest offensive rebound percentage in the entire league, and this team, which was led by Mark Aguirre and Rolando Blackman, managed to come just one game away from the finals, losing in seven games to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers.

In the offseason, the Lakers would actually offer a trade of James Worthy for Roy Tarpley, straight up, but the Mavericks would turn them down, and that ended up being a very bad mistake for the Mavs, as, just 13 games into the season, Tarpley would be suspended for almost the entire year for cocaine use.

But he served his time outside of the league and came back a much better player for the last six games of the year.

He averaged, in what’s obviously a very small sample size, around 23 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, and a block, and with the team revamped with Adrian Dantley there instead of Aguirre the next year, it seemed again like things might actually be looking up for Dallas.

And for Roy, as he was able to be a starter this season. In the first game of the season, he has 23 points, 17 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks, and things were really looking up.

But then, just five games later, he blew it. He was arrested in Dallas on charges of driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, and he ended up being suspended by the league for another half season.

He came back for the second half of the year and balled out, but this was starting to become a problem and a pattern.

Then, five games into the next year- this one actually wasn’t a substance abuse thing! – he tore his ACL. So he misses the entire season again.

But then, with the season almost over, in March, he is caught drunk driving. Again.

This didn’t actually get him banned from the league yet; just another suspension. The “three strikes, you’re out” rule was in place at the time, but they only counted the drug issues and the drinking issues separately. So with one drug violation and alcohol violations, it didn’t count as his third strike.

The third strike would be in the preseason of the next year, when he flat out refused to even take a drug test. And that automatically led the NBA to assume he was guilty, upon which he was officially banned from the NBA.

He went overseas and became an absolute sensation in Greece, leading Aris to win the EuroLeague and Olympiacos to make it to the EuroLeague final, but, unhappy with the level of competition and the level of pay (that probably didn’t lead to the same level of drugs and alcohol as his US contracts did), he decided in 1994 that he was going to try to come back to the NBA and play for the Mavericks again.

And he did succeed in getting reinstated!

A bit heavier than he was three years prior, Tarpley was repurposed from a power forward to a center and came off the bench, but he had a very solid season, averagin around 12 and eight.

The Mavericks even resigned him to a long-term contract.

But he couldn’t report to training camp the next year or play for quite a while at the start of the season because of some severe pancreas problems (which were brought to him likely because of his alcohol problem), and in December, when he showed up for a practice, the team’s trainers believed that he’d been having alcohol still, and that violated the terms that he’d agreed to upon his reinstatement to the league.

He got banned from the NBA at this point, for a second time – this time permanently – literally just for drinking alcohol at all this time.

He’d go on to play ten more years overseas and in semi-professional leagues in the US, but the story of Roy Tarpley in always going to be one of a “what if”.

Just over four years ago, Roy Tarpley passed away on January 9th, 2015, because of liver failure.

That is, of course, a disease that has very serious correlations to drinking problems.

NBA Trade Rumors: Will the Mavs trade Dennis Smith Jr.?

On Monday January 14th 2018, it was rumored in the basketball world that the Dallas Mavericks have been interested in trading away their starting point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who was their 9th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.

Since arriving to the league back in September of 2017, Smith had made quite a name for himself in his rookie season averaging 15.2 ppg, 5.2 apg, and 3.8 rpg. In his 2ndand current season in the NBA, Smith went a little downhill in each three categories of his stats. It may be due to the fact that the Mavericks had traded for their new future star, Luka Doncic, during the 2018 draft.

In many eyes of Mavericks fans around the world, Doncic has been the player that was expected out of Dennis Smith Jr. Luka is currently averaging 20.3 ppg, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.1 assists and is a soon to be NBA All-Star.

Luka is listed at 6 feet and 7 inches tall that can play any position from point guard through small forward. He was also put to start at the power forward position for Dallas earlier this season. So if the Mavericks do plan on trading away Smith, Luka can be the next starting point guard, depending on who they get in return.

When this news was first reported, two teams in the NBA have sparked interest in trading for the young point guard. Adrian Wojnarowski originally reported that the two teams that are interested in Smith are the Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic, which both teams are in need for a promising young and rising point guard.

A couple of days after this news broke out, it is now being reported by John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 that the Phoenix Suns have “no interest” in a trade for Dennis Smith Jr.

The Suns are a team that is in need for a point guard and it is quite odd for them not to be interested in a point guard with a bright future ahead of him. Smith Jr. can be the missing piece to the Suns starting lineup and hopefully get the team a couple of more wins and get Devin Booker to stay in Phoenix.

This leaves the Orlando Magic and other NBA teams to have a chance on getting DSJ. The Magic is the only team in the NBA that has been struggling with filling in that point guard spot in their lineup within the past couple of seasons. Yes, Phoenix does too but they may have a shot on drafting Murray State PG Ja Morant in this upcoming draft.

The current starting point guard for the Magic is D.J. Augustin who is currently averaging 11.4 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game. They’ve had many point guards in the past that did not workout with them. Without giving Augustin up for DSJ, the Magic can use his veteran presence as their 6th man and help develop Smith Jr for his future.

The trade deadline is currently three weeks away and who knows what teams will be interested and where Dennis Smith Jr. will end up. This also leads the question on everyone’s mind right now which is, “Will Dennis Smith Jr. get traded at all?”

Early Top 5 NBA MVP Candidates

The NBA season has been full of surprises, we have seen the rise of the Denver Nuggets and the fall of the Houston Rockets. Questions remain with all the surprises in the NBA, who will be the MVP this season?

The NBA MVP race has been interesting this season. We have seen remarkable plays and emergence of many players. Here are the 5 players who are the top candidates to win MVP this season:

5. Anthony Davis

Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Record: 14-15
Stats: 27.4 Points 12.2 Rebounds 4.8 Assists 2.8 Blocks

Anthony Davis has been an MVP caliber player for the past four seasons, but his team hasn’t produced the wins for Davis to be a serious candidate. Davis is doing it all for the Pelicans this season. He is producing on both sides of the court, offense, and defense.

The Pelicans are 4-6 in their last 10 games falling to the 10th seed in the Western Conference. For Davis to win MVP this season, his team has to start winning. Davis has MVP caliber stats but unfortunately is not winning games to back up his case for MVP.

Davis does have a decent supporting cast to pull out wins but the Pels haven’t found a way to win games consistently. The Pelicans as a team rank 2nd in both points per game and assists per game. The offense is there for the Pelicans but they must be consistent on this end and also on the defensive end.

4. Stephen Curry

Team: Golden State Warriors
Record: 19-9
Stats: 30.1 Points 5.8 Assists 5.2 Rebounds 1.1 Steals

Stephen Curry is always an MVP candidate every year since 2015. His tremendous shooting ability, playmaking, and overall offensive abilities have helped lead the Warriors to a winning culture.

Curry is currently having a 50/50/90 season. The last person to achieve this historic stat for a season is his coach Steve Kerr in the 1995-1996 season with the Chicago Bulls. Curry is shooting 51% from the field, 50% from the 3, and 93% from the free throw line. These historic shooting numbers from Curry will help elevate his case for MVP this season.

Curry’s MVP case might be tarnished due to early season injuries as well as being on a super team with Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Curry is having a historic season and is easily the best player on the Warriors. He will have plenty of nods to be in the MVP conversation this year.

3. Kawhi Leonard

Team: Toronto Raptors
Record: 22-7
Stats: 26.1 Points 3 Assists 8.3 Rebounds 1.9 Steals

The Toronto Raptors are currently the best team in the NBA, holding the best record in the league. This is in large part due to the remarkable play by Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard is the best player on the raptors and affects the floor both on offense and defense. With the help of Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka, the Raptors may find themselves in the NBA Finals in June.

After his dramatic departure from San Antonio during the offseason, Leonard is reminding everyone that he is a Top 5 player in the league.

With the Raptors rolling this season, Leonard is a top MVP candidate this year.

2. Lebron James

Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 17-10
Stats: 28.3 Points 7.1 Assists 7 Rebounds 1.3 Steals

A 33-year-old Lebron James is leading the Lakers to a 5th seed in the Brutal Western Conference. James is averaging close to a triple-double and producing wins for this Lakers roster whose next best player is Kyle Kuzma.

James is on a tear this season and has been the sole reason this Laker team is winning games. He has the best chance to take the MVP trophy home this season if he continues to produce more wins for his team. He has played in every single game this season and it seems like he is getting better with age.

The Lakers have won 7 games in their last 10 games. James continues to exceed expectations year in and year out as he is leading this team who has struggled the past 5 years to the playoffs. The Lakers are 1.5 games behind from being the number one seed in the conference. With how the Lakers are playing, they might be the first seed by Christmas.

James is leading the Lakers in Points, Rebounds and assists for the Lakers. His Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is the highest on the team at 27.4. Next highest is Kyle Kuzma at 16.1 PER.

1. Giannis Antentokoumpo

Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Record: 18-8
Stats: 26.5 Points 13.3 Rebounds 6 Assists 1.3 Blocks

Giannis Antentokoumpo is doing everything for the Bucks, scoring, grabbing rebounds, playing defense, dishing out assists. 2019 is the year of the Greek Freak as he has lifted the Bucks to the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis is the best player in the Eastern Conference. He is a nightmare for any team. Giannis hasn’t quite figured out his shooting ability in the NBA yet, only shooting 11% but is still finding a way to score buckets and be a force in the league.

The Bucks are a scary team to face as they currently rank 1st as a team in points per game and rebound per game. They also rank 4th in assists per game being one of the more unselfish teams in the league.

Giannis is leading the team in Points, Rebounds, assists and steals basically every statistical category other than blocks which Brook Lopez currently leads the team in.

Giannis is 4th in PER, ranking only behind Steph Curry, Boban Marjanovic and Anthony Davis.

The Bucks are a difficult and scary team to face this season and that is due to the rise of Giannis Antentokoumpo. Giannis has the best chance to win MVP this year as he doing everything and winning with the Bucks.