NBA draft profile: N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2017 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed four picks: 3, 37, 53, and 56. The draft will be held June 22 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Name: Dennis Smith Jr.
Position: Point Guard
Hometown: Fayetteville, NC
College: N.C. State
Weight: 190 pounds
Key 2016-17 stats: 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists.
Scouting Report: The freshman point guard from N.C. State was the ACC freshman of the year and led his team in points, assists and steals per game during the 2016-17 season. He shot the ball at 45.5 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from behind the arc in his one-and-done season.
Although Smith shoots the ball above average, he still lacks consistency. Although he doesn’t rely on his outside jumper, against bigger players at the next level those looks at the rim aren’t going to be as open as they were for him during college. His weakness may be that he is just an overall good player that is average or just above average at everything, but doesn’t bring one outstanding attribute to the table.
Despite tearing his ACL in August of 2015 of his senior year in high school, Smith is one of the most, if not the most explosive guard that is a part of the 2017 NBA draft. He has the leaping ability to take off and dunk after a two or three dribble drive from the perimeter.
In transition, Smith pushes the ball hard and isn’t afraid of putting defenders on their heels and taking it all the way to the rim with contact. While he is extremely explosive going full speed to the the basket, he plays in control of his body and is able to read defenders for the one or two dribble pull up. When reading defenders, he attacks closeouts off the dribble extremely well and is efficient at creating space for his shot or drive.
His athleticism and tenacity helps on the defensive end as well. Smith is able to pressure ball handlers and force difficult passes and obstruct other point guards’ court vision despite his size. What he lacks in height he makes up for with effort, however, his height cause issues when he has the ball and is pressured with traps by longer opponents. He averages 3.37 turnovers per game.
“I think in Dennis you’re talking about an alpha dog, a Kyle Lowry type, a guy with a chip on his shoulder, an athlete who can get to the basket,” ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said on The 4 Quarter Podcast. “He had four games of 10 assists or more. You don’t say this about guards very often, but he’s raw. He’s going to need to be coddled and coached in an NBA game but the athleticism, the strength and the ability to get to the basket is there.”
While he was the point guard at N.C State, his style doesn’t replicate that of a true point guard. He distributes the ball well, however, he looks for his own shot before looking for his teammates. At the college level that might have been necessary, but at the next level he will have to become more of a facilitator.
Now with the No. 3 pick in the draft, the Celtics could look to trade down once again making Smith an viable option.
“I know he likes me,” Smith said of Danny Ainge according to the Boston Herald. “I’m a big fan of them; they’re fans of me, so we’ll see how that plays out.”
Full article @ NBA draft profile: N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith
Source: GreenStreet Blog