Carlisle: 'Business stuff' keeping Dennis Smith Jr. away from team
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Dennis Smith Jr. remains away from the Dallas Mavericks and will not rejoin the team for its upcoming two-game road trip after reported trade talks recently escalated.

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle admits he's confused by the situation and blames the business side of basketball as the reason for Smith's extended absence - though the guard is currently listed as out with an illness.

"I don't know exactly what's going on, but I know one thing: This kid is a team guy, and he loves being with his teammates, and he really respects his teammates," Carlisle said, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "This is just my feeling, is that he's being told to stay away for whatever reason. I just don't want people out there to think he is snubbing the Mavs or anything like that. This is just my opinion, I believe there's business stuff going on, and he's being told to stay away. Listen, if that's what they feel is in his best interests, he should trust his advisers. But it's unlike him not to want to be with his teammates."

Carlisle recently reached out to Smith and his agent as he hopes for a resolution to what's becoming an increasingly awkward situation.

"It was sent as a message with no response necessary, but they could either work through (Mavericks president) Donnie Nelson or myself to facilitate," Carlisle said. "That's where things are, and I'm hoping he comes back soon."

Smith quickly became the Mavericks' face of the future after they selected him ninth overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, but he fell out of favor as it became clear he would take a backseat to current Rookie of the Year front-runner Luka Doncic.

The two have struggled to produce positive results on the floor together despite Doncic shining individually.

Smith has seen a dip in his statistics with the emergence of the Slovenian, as he is averaging 12.6 points and 3.9 assists in 28 appearances.

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Carlisle: 'Business stuff' keeping Dennis Smith Jr. away from team
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