I appreciate Fran Fraschilla for passing along the article linked below on Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. There’s great insight into the Dallas Mavericks’ development plan for Smith, the franchise’s first rookie to be drafted in the lottery since Dirk Nowitzki in 1998. I loved Carlisle’s quote on everyone that is included in bringing Smith along, the story of the front office’s FaceTime conversation with Smith leading up to the draft and the story of Smith sitting with Carlisle on the team plane to watch film.
Dennis Smith Jr. didn’t play cards with his teammates, put on a pair of Beats by Dre headphones or catch a nap during the first team flight of his NBA career. He wanted to work, not that he had much choice in the matter. Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle sat side by side with Smith and spent the two and a half hours it took to fly to Las Vegas putting the No. 9 pick in the draft through a video tutorial. They watched a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, with Carlisle particularly emphasizing details of the Dallas point guards’ defense against MVP Russell Westbrook. They studied some of the Mavs’ offensive sets and discussed Smith’s responsibilities, how he’d fit and situations he should expect to see, the rookie impressing Carlisle with his intellectual curiosity for the game.
For more on the process of developing a point guard:
-The transformation of Kyle Lowry (LINK)
-The development of an NBA point guard (LINK)
-Chris Paul: The Leader (LINK)
-Bledsoe: Becoming an NBA point guard (LINK)