Hornets adding notable backup behind LaMelo Ball
LaMelo Ball will be backed up next season by a fellow former top-ten pick.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that veteran guard Dennis Smith Jr. has signed with the Charlotte Hornets on a one-year deal. The Hornets were in the market for more point guard depth after Isaiah Thomas’ contract expired this summer. Smith is also a native of North Carolina who played his college ball at NC State.
Smith, 24, was selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft but has proven to be a bust to this point of his career. Prior to Charlotte, he had played for four different NBA teams with his stats getting worse and worse ever since a solid rookie year. That was not entirely Smith’s fault though as he had battled injuries and clunky fits on his teams.
With the Hornets, Smith figures to get a nice look as the only true backup point guard on the roster (Terry Rozier starts at shooting guard next to Ball and 22-year-old James Bouknight is more of a 2 as well). Plus between Ball’s flashy play and Smith’s bounce-house athleticism, Hornets’ practices could quickly become must-watch affairs.