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Carlisle On Dennis Smith Jr.: We'd Love To Have Him Back

January 18, 2019 - 1:18 pm

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Just two days after he said the NBA is a 'boiling pot of water' when asked about Smith Jr.'s absence from the team, head coach Rick Carlisle had a different take on the matter Friday.

"Dennis Smith is not here but I want to let everyone know that I reached out to him and his agent last night ... (I) let them know when he's feeling better he's welcome to rejoin the team at any time. We’d love to have him back," Carlisle said after practice to reporters including 105.3 The Fan's Mike Fisher.

"In his year-and-a-half here he's started every game that he's been available to play. He's experienced significant growth on both sides of the ball, and I'm very proud of the progress he's made ... Again, he's a part of this team and we'd love to have him back.''

Carlisle declined to answer any questions on the matter.

Smith will not travel with the team on their upcoming road trip to Indiana and Milwaukee after missing the last four games, three with a sore back, and the latest (Wednesday night's loss to San Antonio) with an illness. 

As trade rumors go, ESPN's Tim Macmahon reported Thursday that the Mavericks "were optimistic" they could work things out with the point guard. 

"Plan A is still to fix this," a team source told MacMahon. 

The Athletic's Shams Charania added Thursday that Smith and top team officials have been in contact in the past several days and have had positive communication. He also is reporting that Smith hasn't requested a trade.

Smith is averaging 12.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.