Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 15.1
PHX receives: W. Matthews, D. Smith Jr., 2023 MIA Second Round Pick (via DAL)
DAL receives: T.J. Warren, Josh Jackson, Troy Daniels
Dennis Smith Jr. is one of the most intriguing trade pieces on the market, and although Dallas won’t let him go without a decent return, it’s easy to see him suiting up for a different team this season. What better place to DSJ to wind up than on the lottery-bound Phoenix Suns?
In this trade, the Mavericks would be willing to take on a bit of long-term salary in order to get a wing player who instantly upgrades the roster (T.J. Warren), in addition to a young project piece in Josh Jackson (the 4th overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft) and an expiring-contract sharpshooter in Troy Daniels.
The Mavericks would still have reasonably easy access to a max-salary slot (~$35 million in cap space) this offseason even after this trade. This is important, because the Mavs are eager to add a second star to their stable this summer in order to support their likely ROY winner, Luka Doncic. The Mavericks would get more competitive right now, deepening their roster for a potential playoff run or to compliment an incoming star, in addition to coming away with a high potential prospect while maintaining their aforementioned cap flexibility.
The Suns, meanwhile, would make this trade in order to tank harder in the short term (boosting their #1 pick odds for the 2019 NBA Draft), while stashing a future second-round draft pick, and acquiring a blue-chip point guard prospect on a roster with no clear future at the position. They move on from the disappointing Josh Jackson experiment, and also lighten their books considerably, ending up within spitting distance of a max-salary slot for this free-agent heavy summer.