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#pounditWednesday, September 30, 2020

Knicks almost sent Dennis Smith Jr down to G-League?

The Dennis Smith Jr experiment has yet to work out for the New York Knicks, and he apparently was nearly even demoted to Westchester.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported on Tuesday that now-former Knicks player development director Craig Robinson had pleaded with the team’s management to send Smith to the G-League in an effort to ease him back. General manager Scott Perry ultimately resisted that notion though.

Smith, the 22-year-old former lottery pick, arrived in New York in Jan. 2019 as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade. He has played a minimal role for the team since then however, making just 34 appearances for them this season, and sitting stuck behind the likes of Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina on the depth chart.

While Smith’s skillset is not particularly compatible with Tom Thibodeau, the new coach of the Knicks, Thibodeau has historically done well to get improved production out of the point guard position, as Berman notes. Still, the team’s investment of resources into Smith has yet to pay dividends, so next season could be Smith’s last chance to prove his worth in New York.

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