Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is expected to return to the team on January 22nd against the Los Angeles Clippers according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Smith has been discussed as a possible trade candidate as he takes a leave from the team.
MacMahon says Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle informed the rest of the team of Smith’s return during practice. Carlisle stressed how important Smith is to team success and advocated to welcome him with open arms, according to ESPN. The former first-round pick has missed the last five games for the Mavericks. The team has cited back soreness and illness as reasoning for his absence.
One of the reasons for Smith’s absence is the emergence of Luka Doncic, according to MacMahon. Doncic has immediately become the team’s top player, leading to Smith having his role in the offense diminished. Dallas has maintained the belief that they can and will mend the issues with Dennis Smith Jr. and this news of his return, at least for now, proves that to be true.
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