Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. will be back with the team Tuesday for their game against the Los Angeles Clippers, according to head coach Rick Carlisle.
Statement from Rick Carlisle: "I am excited to announce Dennis Smith Jr. will rejoin the team on Tuesday. Dennis and I spoke at length today. He is feeling better and plans to resume workouts in preparation for his return. There will be no further updates until Tuesday."- Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 21, 2019
Smith Jr. also released a statement via the Mavericks: "I am thrilled to rejoin my teammates on Tuesday. I am feeling better and had a great workout today. It has been difficult to be away, but I look forward to getting back on the court and helping my team win."
Smith has been away from the team for the past five games due to a back injury and illness, however recent trade rumours have fueled speculation surrounding the relationship between the team and the No. 9 pick in last year's draft.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Mavs were "escalating discussions" to find a potential trade for Smith Jr, with both the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic reportedly emerging as potential suitors. With Luka Doncic impressing this season as their primary playmaker, doubts have reportedly arisen as to the long-term viability of the young duo playing alongside each other, per ESPN.
Through 28 games this season, Smith Jr is averaging 12.6 points per game, 3.9 assists 2.6 rebounds, all down from last season.