As the clear face of the franchise, the Mavericks will do whatever it takes to ensure they optimize their time with Luka Doncic.
As a result, some other things will have to give. Dennis Smith Jr., unfortunately, will likely be the first to go. He and Luka don't play well together, the stats and the eye test prove it. Now, it's being reported that the Mavs have put him on the table for trades.
One interested party could give the Mavs the perfect opportunity to make things right.
The Phoenix Suns’ lack of a legitimate point guard has been well-documented. Although there hasn’t been much movement on that front quite yet, some believe they could target another ball-handler prior to February’s trade deadline.
One player they could be interested in is Smith.
A deal between the two teams could be centered around Suns forward Josh Jackson, who’s had a disappointing start to his career, but would still present an upgrade, athletically, at least, to Dallas’ wing rotation. With the additions of Mikal Bridges and Kelly Oubre, Jackson could be expendable if it means landing a high-upside lead guard like Smith.
A backcourt of Doncic and Jackson makes a little more sense, and it's worth a shot if the price isn't too high for the Mavs. Obviously, for the Suns, they haven't got much to lose in swapping Jackson for Smith.
There's still time until the February trade deadline, so there's no pressure to get a deal done. For the Mavericks, it's just more about getting things right.