Date of Birth: November 25, 1997
Position: Point Guard
College: North Carolina State
Measurements: 6’3, 195 lbs
The thing that jumps out about Dennis Smith Jr is his elite-level athleticism. Smith Jr is regarded as the most athletic PG in this draft in terms of explosiveness around the rim. This allows him to be an elite finisher inside which should translate well in the NBA. Another aspect of his game that stands out is his court vision. Dennis Smith Jr. is capable of making nice reads to get open shots for teammates when dumping it to the bigs or kicking it out for the three. He has an elite level ability to create offense for his team and as well as score on all three levels.
We know that his greatest ability is to finish inside but he is also become very good in other aspects. He has steadily improved his perimeter shooting and has the tools to be an effective shooter at the next level.
Smith Jr is still fairly new to the PG position, meaning that he can make some bad decisions from time to time. The NC State product would sometimes miss the open man or force a difficult shot up instead of making the safe play. Since Dennis Smith Jr. is still polishing up his PG skills, he sometimes relies on his strength and athleticism to make basketball plays instead of the fundamentals.
His effort on the defensive end of the ball was also put into question during his lone season at NC State. Smith Jr would sometimes fall asleep on defense or not give full effort on that end of the floor resulting in easy baskets for the opposing team. His “average” length could also trouble him on the defensive end as he doesn’t have the elite length great defenders have.
Dennis Smith Jr. is only a little over a year removed from his ACL tear during his Senior season of High School, which could come off as “red flags” for other teams. His lone season in NC State, however, should ease concerns for any team considering him with their pick. Teams could also be concerned with his wingspan, which is only 6’3. NBA teams enjoy length so could this possibly be a concern for Dennis Smith Jr?
Dennis Smith Jr. was the only player this year to average at least 17 PPG, 6 APG, 4 RPG, and 1.5 SPG and the 1st player in the ACC to do it since Greivis Vasquez in 2010.
Both guards have the ability to score on all three levels, inside, mid-range, and the three-point shot. Like Lowry, Dennis Smith Jr also possesses the strength to be able to finish around the rim. Smith Jr’s feel for the game and ability to get teammates involved is also very reminiscent of the current Toronto Raptors All-Star point guard.
Between Picks 5 and 10