Mavericks’ Donnie Nelson Excited By Potential Of Dennis Smith Jr.

Mavericks first round pick Dennis Smith Jr. (center) poses for a photograph with Head Coach Rick Carlisle (right) and owner Mark Cuban during a press conference at American Airline Center in Dallas, Friday, June 23, 2017. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

The Dallas Mavericks aren’t hiding their excitement over 2017 first round draft pick Dennis Smith Jr. and his immense potential, especially Donnie Nelson.

In fact, the team is hoping that Smith wins the starting job, according to’s Earl K. Sneed.

“Those keys are earned. You know, it’s going to be an interesting training camp.” Nelson said.

“I think Dennis is going to play for one of the best coaches in the NBA. That being said, I think internally you can’t help but be excited by the potential, but he wouldn’t want it any other way.

“Just knowing the character of Dennis and knowing his family and surrounding structure, he’s going to want to earn those minutes. He’s truly a winner in every sense of the word.”

Smith shined during Summer League play posting 17.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.2 steals and being named to the All-NBA Summer League First Team.