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dennis smith jr

NBA Draft Picks First Thoughts After Being Drafted

When getting interviewed after being selected, it is customary to be humble and politically correct on camera (unless you’re Lavar Ball). This is what the first 15 picks in the NBA Draft really wanted to say to Allison Williams in the green room.

  1. Markelle Fultz: “I’m the only consensus #1 pick who no one has ever seen play”
  2. Lonzo Ball: “This is exactly what I wanted…right Dad?”
  3. Jayson Tatum: “I’m finally done with controlling coaches. Wait, who is the Celtics coach?”
  4. Josh Jackson: “Shit, maybe I should’ve found time in my busy schedule to work out for the Celtics”
  5. De’Aaron Fox: ” Great, I’m in the only city in California that’s not by the beach”
  6. Jonathan Isaac: “I must be the MVP of the draft, because I’m going to Disney World”
  7. Lauri Markkanen: “Seriously, in Sweden Lauri is a man’s name”
  8. Frank Ntilikina: “Tony said that teammates share wives and girlfriends. Is that really true, because La La is hot!”
  9. Dennis Smith, Jr.: “My vertical isn’t the only thing that’s 48 inches”
  10. Zach Collins: “I wonder if they will let me start in the NBA”
  11. Malik Monk: “At least I don’t have to pay Coach Cal 10% since I didn’t get picked in the top 10”
  12. Luke Kennard: “I must be the first white shooting guard to go in the lottery that can’t even shoot”
  13. Donovan Mitchell: “In the NBA do we have to get our own hookers, or do the coaches still pay?”
  14. Edrice ‘Bam’ Adebayo: “My mom didn’t think I’d get made fun of enough for Edrice, so she stole my nickname from a cartoon baby”
  15. Justin Jackson: “Actually, its Justin, not Josh. Hey, you can still ask me questions!”

Quick Hits on Dallas Mavericks 1st Round Pick

The Dallas Mavericks had their first top 10 pick in the Mark Cuban era. With the 9th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft they selected Dennis Smith, Jr., a freshman point guard from NC State.

The Numbers:

6’2″ (6’3″ wingspan), 195 pounds, 48″ Vertical, 19 years old

18.1 PPG, 6.2 AST, 4.6 REB, 1.9 STL, 0.4 BLK, 3.4 TOV, 46% FG, 36% 3PT, 72% FT

Strengths:

Score first point guard, but also has the ability to find open teammates in drive and kick situations. His quickness and explosiveness is second in the draft, only to 5th pick De’Aaron Fox. He has a crossover that allows him to get an open jumper and get to the rim to score. His strength and frame will make sure he is not pushed around in the NBA and will allow him to finish in the paint. His athleticism and quick hands gives him the ability to be a pesky on ball defender.

Weaknesses:

Inconsistent shooter, will resort to taking bad shots when frustrated. 36% from behind the line is not a good sign, especially when the NBA moves the line 3 feet further than college. Also, 71% from the charity stripe for a point guard simply will not cut it in the NBA. Smith tends to pick up his dribble quickly when defensive pressure comes, and that forces him into turnovers. He tore his ACL in 2015 and missed his senior season of high school, but he seems to be completely healed and had no issues in college.

Rookie Season Expectations:

Smith will benefit greatly from having talented teammates and a good coach in Rick Carlisle, considering he had neither at NC State. He needs to learn how to use his athleticism to play defense and how to see the entire court as a point guard, so that he can hit open teammates instead of taking forced shots. Smith may struggle early fitting into a more complex offense, but should find his stride with the team by January. No doubt that Carlisle will have him shooting plenty of shots in practice to bring up that ugly free throw percentage. Don’t be surprised to see him in the dunk contest to show off that 48″ vertical.

Last Word:

Dennis Smith, Jr. was the biggest sleeper in the draft for many analysts, with some going so far as to say he could possibly be the best player in the draft when it is all said and done. However, while he does have a high ceiling, he does also have somewhat of a low floor. If Smith does not improve his shooting, defense and decision making, it will be very difficult for him to stay on the floor in the NBA. However, if he does improve those aspects of his game….watch out NBA.

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