New York Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr. can cement his legacy in New York

New York Knicks. Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
New York Knicks. Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Since the New York Knicks acquired Dennis Smith Jr. at the trade deadline, he has adapted well to a rebuilding New York Knicks team.

New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. was highly regarded to be picked by the Knicks two seasons ago when they ironically chose Kristaps Porzingis with the 4th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Since the acquisition of Smith Jr. (and other Dallas teammates) at the trade deadline, he has started all 6 games he has appeared in so far.

In 32 games with the Dallas Mavericks this season, he averaged 12.9 points (15.2 ppg last year), 4.3 assists (5.2 apg last year), 3 rebounds (3.8 rpg last year) and 1.3 steals (1 spg last year).

light. Related Story. Telling the story of D'Angelo Russell's early struggles into an All-Star

Although his field goal shooting averages have improved since last season (.395% to .440%), he has yet to improve his free throw shooting (69.4% to 70% this season with Dallas).

Early Stats in New York

In his first six games with the Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr. averaged 16.7 points, 5.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds,  and 1.8 steals per game on .398% from the field.

One alarming stat in particular is that Smith Jr. has continued to struggle primarily from the free throw line, only shooting 58% for the Knicks.

Additionally, his usage rate has already reached 28%, which is higher than his stint in Dallas so far (27.8% last season and 22.6% this season).

A statistic that accompanies Smith Jr.’s aforementioned usage rating is his 11 FG attempts per game with Dallas and now averages 15.5 FG per game as a Knick.

Aside from battling injury this season in Dallas, Smith Jr.’s role was diminished due to the emergence of rookie sensation Luka Dončić.

Now as a member of the Knicks, his minutes have also increased from 28.4 to 31.2 minutes per game.

Therefore, when the Knicks acquired him at the trade deadline, he was guaranteed to start and has not shied away from attempting to solidify his starting role for years to come.


As a member of the Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr. now has an opportunity of a lifetime to shine as the up and coming leader of this young team as he may hopefully be joined by a big name free agent  this summer.

If Smith Jr. can make his presence known on both ends of the floor on a consistent basis, the Knicks will have a solid foundation to rebuild on for the next few seasons.

As the season continues, as bad as it is, Smith Jr.’s numbers will continue to rise on a New York team that now lacks a star player.

Three trade destinations for Rangers forward Kevin Hayes. dark. Next

Smith Jr. has recently confirmed his return to this seasons’ Slam Dunk Contest, giving the city of New York someone to root for besides D’Angelo Russell in the All-Star Game.