Dennis Smith Jr. available, should Charlotte Hornets pursue?

Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With Dennis Smith Jr’s name being thrown around in trade discussions, should the Charlotte Hornets target the North Carolina native?

Dennis Smith Jr. is one of the more exciting young point guards in the league, and it surprises me that the Dallas Mavericks could be looking to trade the 21 year old. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the team is at least gauging the market for Smith.

It’s clear that the fast emergence of rookie Luka Doncic has made Smith expandable. Dallas is building around Doncic, and Smith may not be the best fit next to the prized rookie.

With that being said, should the Charlotte Hornets get on the phone with Dallas and look to acquire Smith from the Mavericks? I absolutely think it’s something they should look into.

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Smith has been sidelined with a wrist injury recently, but had shown some improvement with his efficiency before sitting out. He’s currently shooting 44 percent from the floor and 35 percent from three-point range.

Improving his perimeter shot is going to be huge for Smith’s development going forward. He has the athleticism, there’s no question about that. However, he’s not a reliable shooter right now and also needs to work on his defense and playmaking.

If he can continue to improve in those areas, he could have star upside. Dallas saw that potential in him when they made him the ninth overall selection in 2017.

It’s unclear what the Mavericks are asking for Smith, but it would likely take a big offer to lure him from Dallas. With Charlotte not having the best trade assets, it could be pretty tough to land Smith.

However, it’s worth a shot for the Hornets. Smith is from the North Carolina area and went to North Carolina State for a year in college. He’d be a really intriguing guard to place next to Kemba Walker and would be tremendous insurance to have in case Walker bolts in free agency this upcoming summer.

Other then Kemba, the only point guards on the Hornets roster are Tony Parker and Devonte’ Graham. While Parker has been very good for Charlotte in his first year with the team, he’s 36 years old and you probably wouldn’t want him running the show in case of a Kemba departure.

They could, of course, look to acquire a new point guard at that time, but having a player like Smith as a replacement for Kemba would be ideal.

Smith is averaging 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists this season for the Mavericks.

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Smith would be an excellent pickup for Charlotte in the present and for the future. It would take a big offer to get Smith, but it’s something the Hornets should at least consider. The team needs some more talent and Smith is a really talented young guard in this league.