Dennis Smith Jr. was one of the key pieces of the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis trade, but Smith might not last long in New York.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Smith may be traded by the Knicks after the season. The former ninth overall pick was championed by coach David Fizdale and assistant Keith Smart. They have both left the organization, as has Steve Mills, who traded for him in the first place.
New president Leon Rose has no attachment to Smith, who has not progressed as hoped. Smith has been left competing with Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton for point guard minutes after injury and family leave hindered him early in the season.
There were rumors that Smith may want out of New York, so a possible trade might be okay with him. He’s having his worst NBA season, averaging just 5.5 points per game in 15.8 minutes.
Dennis Smith Jr may find himself getting traded for the second time in a year.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Friday that rival teams believe that the New York Knicks guard would prefer a move, adding that multiple clubs have contacted the Knicks to inquire about Smith.
The 22-year-old Smith was traded to the Knicks just 11 months ago as part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal. He has played minimally this season however, averaging 5.2 points and 2.7 assists in a mere 16.1 minutes per game. Smith’s role has also failed to increase ever since the team fired David Fizdale and promoted Mike Miller to interim head coach.
While the Knicks have made investments in the ex-lottery pick recently, their crowded backcourt makes it such that Smith may indeed need a new home.
- Dennis Smith Jr.
Dennis Smith Jr is still far from a finished product, and the New York Knicks are hoping that an intensive summer with their shooting guru benefits him.
In an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post that ran on Sunday, Knicks assistant Keith Smart, known as the team’s “Shot Doctor,” spoke about the work he has been doing this offseason with the 21-year-old guard’s shot.
“It’s getting his delivery system into the shot where he can get more confident shooting,” said Smart, who has been working with Smith in his hometown of Fayetteville, N.C. as well as during summer league in Las Vegas. “He’s been a willing participant. I told him it would be tedious process to start. But if we do it all right, he’ll start feeling it … We started shooting in a chair, taking out all the floor movement and just looking at the shoulders. The delivery of the hands through the basketball. We worked on that for about a week.”
As he enters his third NBA season, Smith is at just 40.7 percent from the field for his career, including 31.6 percent from the three-point line.
“We tried to slow things down for him, leaving the floor,” Smart added. “You see all the great shooters don’t leave the floor that high to get their shots off. They just have good lift on their shots. And your feet shouldn’t be off balance when you shoot the ball … We did it slowly. But the big thing is he had to get the confidence to believe in it. And as we did it, he got more confidence in his shooting. Before you knew it, we were right on track. The only piece missing is live competition when he gets into a real game and puts it all together.”
Smith was acquired by the Knicks in a midseason trade last February and still has two more years left on his rookie contract. His batty athleticism speaks for itself, but major improvement on his jumper will really aid Smith as he looks to the next season with revenge on his mind.
Ben Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr traded words during Wednesday’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks.
Matters between them began after Smith taunted Simmons for getting dunked on by Kevin Knox:
Ben Simmons takes a huge L here pic.twitter.com/ppw3oHui0N
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 14, 2019
Then as the teams headed off for halftime, Smith said something to Simmons, who responded:
Ben Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr exchange some words pic.twitter.com/ZhCplNNUXL
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 14, 2019
Philly got the last laugh because, let’s be honest, everyone beats the Knicks. Smith only had 15 points on 5/15 shooting, compared to 18 for Simmons in 34 minutes of work. If this is the start of a rivalry between the two players, we’re here for it.
Dennis Smith Jr. fell out of favor with the Dallas Mavericks some time ago, and now he’s relishing a fresh start with the New York Knicks.
However, Smith does have at least one regret — that the Mavericks traded him to New York after they had their final game against the Knicks this season.
“I just want to play them,” Smith said of the Mavericks according to The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov. “They wanted to package me, DJ, and Wes and send us over here. I just wish they would’ve did it before we didn’t play them anymore.”
Ironically, in Smith’s final game in Dallas, he dropped a triple-double against the Knicks on January 30 and was then traded the following day.
Although the Knicks and Mavericks won’t meet again this season, expectations are that Smith will remain in New York next season and get his opportunity to exact some revenge on Dallas.
Dennis Smith Jr. likely won’t be able to get away with not giving maximum effort on the defense as a member of the New York Knicks.
Smith went to the Knicks as part of the blockbuster trade that saw Kristaps Porzingis head to the Dallas Mavericks. The second-year guard should have plenty of opportunities to show what he can do with New York. However, he will need to focus on defense as well as offense to stay on the floor under head coach David Fizdale.
David Fizdale says he wants to put the ball in Dennis Smith Jr.’s regularly and that he will challenge him to improve on the defensive end.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 2, 2019
The Knicks have been among the worst defensive teams in the NBA so far this season. Fizdale hopes the arrival of veterans DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews will help the team’s young players improve on defense.
David Fizdale says he wants to find minutes for DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews Jr. because he believes it will help the younger Knicks learn defensive principles.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 2, 2019
Fizdale has a young team on his hands and it sounds like he’s counting on Jordan and Matthews to help with the development of the those players. Their development could be in key in potentially supplementing big name free agents should the Kicks sign any with the salary cap space they freed up with the Porzingis trade.
- Dennis Smith Jr.
The NBA trade deadline is only two weeks away, and it’s safe to assume that some teams are already chatting about deals and gauging interest in moves. The NBA’s deadline is not known to be the most robust trade deadline in sports, but it’s certainly an event, and we’ve seen some important deals made over the years at this time of year.
Who’s on the block this year? Who may depart a losing franchise to play for a contender down the stretch? Here are ten names who could be on the move before Feb. 7.
10) Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies
A Gasol trade seems unlikely, but cannot be completely ruled out. He’s not quite the player he was in his prime, but he remains a guy who can chip in 15 points and eight rebounds per game while playing sound defense. He won’t come cheap, and has a player option worth over $25 million for next season, but the Grizzlies are going nowhere and Gasol may be eager to finish off his career with a contender, making him a potentially worthwhile trade pursuit. Plus, Memphis seems willing to listen to offers for him.