Dennis Smith Jr.

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Dennis Smith Jr.
Dennis Smith Jr (cropped).jpg
Smith with the New York Knicks in 2020
Free agent
PositionPoint guard
Personal information
Born (1997-11-25) November 25, 1997 (age 24)
Fayetteville, North Carolina
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolTrinity Christian School
(Fayetteville, North Carolina)
CollegeNC State (2016–2017)
NBA draft2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall
Selected by the Dallas Mavericks
Playing career2017–present
Career history
20172019Dallas Mavericks
20192021New York Knicks
2021Detroit Pistons
2021–2022Portland Trail Blazers
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

Dennis Cliff Smith Jr. (born November 25, 1997) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He attended North Carolina State University for one season of college basketball and earned second-team all-conference honors in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) as a freshman as well as ACC Freshman of the Year.

Smith was selected ninth overall in the 2017 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks. Smith spent two seasons in Dallas before being traded to the New York Knicks in January 2019. He was traded to the Detroit Pistons in February 2021 and later joined the Portland Trail Blazers as a free agent in September of the same year.

High school career

Smith attended Trinity Christian School in Fayetteville, North Carolina.[1] During his first year at Trinity Christian in 2013, Smith came off the bench on the varsity basketball team, where he averaged 9.2 points, 3.0 assist per game. On December 28, 2013, Smith scored 41 points in a 82–73 win over HCYA and future NBA player Justin Jackson.[2] As a sophomore, Smith and Trinity Christian defeated Greenfield by one point to win the 2014 NCISAA 1-A State Championship, while Smith scored 21 points and was named MVP.[3] During the season, Smith averaged, 17.6 points per game and 9.3 assists, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game. After the conclusion of his sophomore season, Smith participated in the NBPA Top 100 Camp on June 19, 2014, at John Paul Jones Arena in Virginia.[4] Smith also competed in the 2014 Adidas Nations.[5]

In his junior year, Smith and Trinity Christian played in the 2014–2015 High School OT Holiday Invitational Tournament at Needham B. Broughton High School in Raleigh. On December 26, 2014, Smith scored 23 points to help Trinity defeat Ravenscroft School (83–60).[6] On December 29, 2014, Smith went head to head with an Orangeville Prep that featured future NBA players Jamal Murray and Thon Maker. Smith scored 38 points in a losing effort as Trinity Christian lost (79–75) in the semi-finals.[7] On January 15, 2015, Smith scored 25 points in a 65–54 victory over Dudley High School.[8] On February 2, 2015, Smith scored 17 points to defeat Cape Fear Christian Academy in the NCISAA 1-A quarterfinals. On February 11, 2015, in the last game of the season, Smith scored 33 points in a (90–58) loss to Word of God Christian Academy in the NCISAA 1-A Semi-finals. On the season, Smith averaged 22.2 points per game, 7.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds per game, and 3 steals, while leading the Crusaders to a (23–10) overall record.[9] In 2015, he was named the Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year for North Carolina.[10][11] Smith received surgery weeks later after the injury. Before the injury, in the summer of 2015, Smith competed on the Adidas Uprising Circuit for the AAU team, Team Loaded North Carolina (NC), alongside future NBA player Bam Adebayo. He led his team to victory in the Adidas Uprising Gauntlet Championship.[12] Smith averaged 16.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.9 assists in 11 games on the circuit.[13] On July 27, 2015, in a televised game on ESPNU, Smith recorded 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assist in a 78–77 win over Kyle Guy and Indiana Elite.[14] On August 10, 2015, while competing in an Adidas Nations event, Smith tore his ACL, but did not feel any serious pain or swelling in his knee. During surgery, Smith's doctors found that he had an extra ACL. He was originally ruled out for his entire senior season of high school but in between 2 weeks and 2 months, he claimed that he had become more explosive, with his vertical increasing by 8 inches.[15][16]

Smith was rated a five-star recruit and was considered one of the best players and point guards in the 2016 high school class.[17] He was ranked No. 7 overall recruit by 247sports, while Scout.com ranked him No. 10 in the Class of 2016. On September 10, 2015, Smith committed to NC State University, picking NC State over Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Kentucky to play college basketball.[18][19]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Dennis Smith Jr
PG
Fayetteville, NC Trinity Christian School (NC) 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Sep 10, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:5/5 stars   Rivals:5/5 stars   247Sports:5/5 stars    ESPN:5/5 stars   ESPN grade: 96
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 10   Rivals: N/A  247Sports: 7  ESPN: N/A
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "2016 Team Ranking". Rivals.com.

College career

In December 2015, Smith decided to graduate early from Trinity Christian School and in January 2016 he enrolled at North Carolina State University. He decided to take the opportunity to get an early start on his first year by attending classes and rehabbing from his injury with the NC State medical staff before the start of the 2016–17 season.[20] Smith began his freshman season playing in two exhibition games against Lynn University and Barton College.[21][22] In his debut for the Wolfpack, Smith played 36 minutes and dished out five assists in an 81–79 victory against Georgia Southern.[23] On November 21, 2016, Smith recorded a then career-high 24 points to go along with 8 assists, defeating Saint Joseph's University, 73–63, in the Paradise Jam Tournament. On November 26, 2016, he scored a season-high 30 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and tallied 7 assists to help NC State defeat Loyola University Chicago.[24] On December 15, 2016, Smith recorded 22 points and 6 assists, leading NC State in a win over Appalachian State. On December 19, 2016, Smith earned ACC Freshman of the Week honors.[25]

On January 4, 2017, Smith recorded a triple-double – 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists – in a win against the Virginia Tech Hokies, making him and Julius Hodge the only two NC State players to achieve this feat.[26] On January 23, 2017, Smith scored a new career-high with 32 points and 6 assists in an 84–82 victory against the Duke Blue Devils, leading NC State to its first win at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1995.[27] Smith recorded his second triple-double – 13 points, 15 assists, and 11 rebounds – of the season on February 1 in a losing effort to Syracuse. He is the only player in ACC history to have recorded two triple-doubles against league opponents.[28] On February 7, 2017, Smith earned his second ACC rookie of the week honor[29] On February 21, 2017, Smith scored 18 points in a 71–69 win against Georgia Tech.[30] On March 5, 2017, Smith was named ACC Rookie of the Year.[31] Smith was additionally named to both Second team All-ACC and ACC All-Freshman teams.[32] In 32 games for NC State in 2016–17, Smith averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.

After his freshman season, Smith announced his intention to forgo his final three years of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2017 NBA draft.[33]

Professional career

Dallas Mavericks (2017–2019)

Smith was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks.[34] On July 5, 2017, he signed his rookie contract.[35] While Smith would be out of action during the 2017 NBA Summer League in Orlando, he would return to action just in time for the event in Las Vegas. During the six games he played with the Mavericks out in Las Vegas, Smith recorded 17.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.2 steals per game in under 25.9 minutes of action, which earned him All-Summer League first-team honors.[36]

On October 18, 2017, Smith made his debut in the Mavericks' season opener, a 117–111 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, where he scored 16 points and had 10 assists.[37] On December 29, 2017, he recorded his first career triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 128–120 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. He was 5 of 7 from 3-point range and 8 of 12 overall. At 20 years, 34 days, Smith became the sixth-youngest player in NBA history to have a triple-double, behind Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Luka Dončić and LeBron James.[38] On May 22, 2018, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.[39]

New York Knicks (2019–2021)

On January 31, 2019, Smith was traded to the New York Knicks along with DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round draft picks in exchange for Kristaps Porziņģis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee.[40] On April 9, Smith recorded 25 points and 5 assists in a 96–86 win against the Chicago Bulls.[41]

On February 1, 2021, Smith was assigned to the Westchester Knicks, the affiliate of New York in the NBA G League.[42][43]

Detroit Pistons (2021)

On February 8, 2021, Smith was traded to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Derrick Rose.[44][45]

Portland Trail Blazers (2021–2022)

On September 23, 2021, Smith signed with the Portland Trail Blazers.[46] On February 16, 2022, he was diagnosed with a high-grade partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow, and was subsequently ruled out for three-to-four weeks.[47] On February 21, he was waived.[48]

Personal life

On June 21, 2017, Smith signed a three-year endorsement deal with Under Armour.[49]

Smith is good friends with fellow Fayetteville native rapper and songwriter J. Cole.[50]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NBA

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017–18 Dallas 69 69 29.7 .395 .313 .694 3.8 5.2 1.0 .3 15.2
2018–19 Dallas 32 32 28.4 .440 .344 .695 3.0 4.3 1.3 .3 12.9
New York 21 18 28.6 .413 .289 .568 2.8 5.4 1.3 .4 14.7
2019–20 New York 34 3 15.8 .341 .296 .509 2.3 2.9 .8 .2 5.5
2020–21 New York 3 0 9.3 .200 .000 .833 .7 1.0 1.0 .0 3.0
Detroit 20 9 19.6 .415 .352 .700 2.7 3.7 1.0 .7 7.3
2021–22 Portland 37 4 17.2 .418 .222 .656 2.4 3.6 1.2 .3 5.6
Career 216 135 23.9 .402 .312 .652 2.9 4.2 1.1 .3 10.7

College

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2016–17 NC State 32 32 34.8 .455 .359 .715 4.6 6.2 1.9 .4 18.1

References

  1. ^ "Dennis Smith, Jr". gopack.com.com. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  2. ^ Strelow, Brett (December 28, 2013). "Dennis Smith Jr, Trinity Christian outduel UNC recruit Justin Jackson and HCYA". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  3. ^ Stevens, Nick (May 15, 2014). "Fayetteville's Dennis Smith Jr offered by Wake Forest". High School OT. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  4. ^ "NBPA top 100 camp: Seven takeaways, plus top performers". cbssports.com. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "Team Lillard wins Adidas Nations Championship". www.slamonline.com. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  6. ^ "High School OT Holiday Invitational: Smith shines in Wall's shoes". www.usatidayhss.com. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  7. ^ "Maker, Orangeville win battle of superstars over Smith, Trinity". High School OT. December 30, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  8. ^ Sirea, Joe (January 15, 2015). "Smith Jr lets his play do all the talking in MLK Day Scholastic Classic". News & Record. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  9. ^ "How Dennis Smith Jr rose from a bench warmer to five-star recruit". sbnation.com. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  10. ^ Trinity Christian's Dennis Smith Jr. named N.C. Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year
  11. ^ ET, 2016 at 1:45p (August 3, 2016). "Dennis Smith Jr. is '110 percent' healthy, ready to lead NC State to a big season". Fox Sports. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Wellman, Webb (May 1, 2015). "Dennis Smith & Bam Adebayo Lead Staked Team Loaded to Adidas Championship". Ballislife. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  13. ^ Strelow, Bret (July 10, 2015). "Dennis Smith, Team Loaded conclude play at Adidas Uprising Gauntlet Finale". fayobserver.com. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Strelow, Brett (July 27, 2015). "Dennis Smith Jr, Team Loaded bounce back from semifinal loss, end Adidas Uprising event in strong fashion". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "No.1 Class of 2016 point guard Dennis Smith Jr suffers torn ACL". maxpreps.com. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  16. ^ "five-star 2016 prospect Dennis Smith Jr tears ACL, out 6–9 months". cbssports.com. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  17. ^ "2016 Top basketball recruits". 247sports.com. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  18. ^ "Smith Jr., Class of 2016 point guard, selects NC State". ESPN. September 10, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  19. ^ "Dennis Smith Jr. ready to enroll early at NC State". newsobserver. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  20. ^ "Freshman Focus: Dennis Smith Jr". TheACC.com. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  21. ^ Giglo, Joe (November 7, 2016). "Defense lifts NC State to 112–60 rout of Barton". Retrieved January 26, 2017 – via newsobserver.com.
  22. ^ Giglo, Joe (November 3, 2016). "Smith leads NC State to preseason rout of lynn". Retrieved January 26, 2017 – via newsobserver.com.
  23. ^ Decock, Luke (November 11, 2016). "Just the beginning for NC State, Smith in Rocky debut – decock". Retrieved January 26, 2017 – via newsobserver.com.
  24. ^ "Wolfpack Downs Loyola Chicago 79-77". www.gopack.com. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  25. ^ "Atlantic Coast Conference Announces Basketball Players of the Week". Atlantic Coast Conference. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  26. ^ "Smith leads NC State past No.21 Virginia Tech 104-78". ESPN.com. Associated Press. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  27. ^ "Smith, NC State stun No.17 Duke 84-82". ESPN.com. Associated Press. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  28. ^ "Dennis Smith sets ACC triple-double record – but NC State still loses: Things to know." CBSSports.com. N.p., February 2, 2017. Web. February 16, 2017.
  29. ^ "Atlantic Coast Conference Announces Basketball Players of the Week". Atlantic Coast Conference. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  30. ^ "Wolfpack sting Georgia Tech, end 7 game slide". ESPN.com. February 21, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  31. ^ "Dennis Smith named ACC Freshman of the Year". NC State Athletics. March 5, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  32. ^ "ACC Announces All-Conference Team, Postseason Awards". TheACC.com. Atlantic Coast Conference. March 5, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  33. ^ "NC State freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr declares for NBA Draft". www.usatoday.com. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  34. ^ "Mavericks select Dennis Smith Jr. with ninth overall pick in 2017 NBA Draft". mavs.com. June 22, 2017. Archived from the original on October 19, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  35. ^ "Mavs sign first-round pick Dennis Smith Jr". mavs.com. July 5, 2017. Archived from the original on July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  36. ^ "2017 All-NBA Summer League teams: Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball earns MVP honors". cbssports.com. July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  37. ^ "Hawks, Schroder spoil Smith's debut, top Mavericks 117–111". ESPN. October 18, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  38. ^ "Dennis Smith Jr. has triple-double, Mavs beat Pelicans". ESPN. December 29, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  39. ^ "Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons lead 2017–18 NBA All-Rookie first team". National Basketball Association. May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  40. ^ "Knicks Acquire Dennis Smith Jr., Deandre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and Two Future First round Picks". National Basketball Association.
  41. ^ "Knicks top Bulls 96–86, avoid new franchise low for wins". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  42. ^ @NY_KnicksPR (February 1, 2021). "@nyknicks Sign Tyler Hall" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  43. ^ Zagoria, Adam (February 1, 2021). "Knicks Send Dennis Smith Jr., Iggy Brazdeikis, Jared Harper To NBA G League Team". Forbes. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  44. ^ "Knicks Acquire Derrick Rose". NBA.com. February 8, 2021. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  45. ^ "Detroit Pistons Acquire Guard Dennis Smith Jr. and a Future Second-Round Pick From New York Knicks In Exchange For Derrick Rose". NBA.com. February 8, 2021. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  46. ^ "Trail Blazers announce Training Camp roster". NBA.com. September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  47. ^ "DENNIS SMITH JR. INJURY UPDATE". Portland Trail Blazers. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  48. ^ "TRAIL BLAZERS SIGN TRENDON WATFORD TO STANDARD NBA CONTRACT". NBA. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  49. ^ DePaula, Nick (June 21, 2017). "Mavs Rookie Dennis Smith Jr signs with Under Armour". ESPN. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  50. ^ "J Cole x Dennis Smith: Small-Town Bond from Fayetteville to the NBA". Bleacher Report. June 21, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2020.

External links

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