Atlantic Notes: Smith Jr., Irving, Boucher, Mensah-Bonsu

Dennis Smith Jr. has done nothing to boost his trade value during the Knicks’ first two preseason games, Marc Berman of the New York Post notes. Though new coach Tom Thibodeau praised Smith last week, the guard hasn’t produced on the court. Smith, who could be a restricted or unrestricted free agent next offseason, logged 37 minutes and shot just 33% from the field. He also looked out of sorts when the Pistons trapped him on Sunday while posting a minus-15 in 16 minutes, Berman adds.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets guard Kyrie Irving finally complied with league rules and met virtually with the media on Monday, Malika Andrews of ESPN writes. Irving had called the media “pawns” in an Instagram post and was fined by the league for refusing to speak to journalists prior to Monday. Irving made a point of praising coach Steve Nash, after previously making a comment that was construed as a knock on Nash when Irving said on a podcast he didn’t see the team “as having a head coach.” “Steve’s been amazing,” Irving said. “He kind of commands the respect. I think I’ve got to take back my comments in terms of the head coach back a few months ago.”
  • Chris Boucher will have an expanded role with the Raptors this season now that Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol are gone, and he plans to do the dirty work, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. The big man re-signed with the club on a two-year, $13.5MM deal as a restricted free agent.  “You’ve got to come in the game, play defense, block shots, rebound, make the good reads,” Boucher said. “I think I was a little trigger happy before … We’ve got good shooters with me when I’m playing now, so I don’t really need to be taking those shots.”
  • The Knicks are planning to hire Pops Mensah-Bonsu as president and director of their G League operations, The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov and Shams Charania tweetMensah-Bonsu was the GM of the Wizards’ Capital City Go-Go G League team last season after a stint as a Spurs scout.
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21 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Smith Jr., Irving, Boucher, Mensah-Bonsu

    • DSJ has already had one change of scenery and got even worse. Unfortunately, he’s trash. If he got a change of scenery, he’d just be trash somewhere else.

      • x%sure

        Worse than trash is a tease— someone who keeps inspiring support because they think they see something in him… usually athletic ability that only works solo and doesn’t make a difference.

      • MarlinsFanBase

        That would be a trade that the Knicks would regret halfway into the season.

        • Doubtful. DSJ is one of the worst players in the league and Randle no longer fits on the team if they want to give Toppin serious minutes. Plus neither Randle nor DeRozan is under contract after this season, so what would be the point?

          • Team with DeRozan would get more back from a contender at the trade deadline if they can take back equal/expiring contracts.

  1. Little_Dunker_45

    Boucher seems nervous? Hope hes not a liability on the offensive side. If siakam isnt clicking they need bigs who can make buckets…troubling

  2. Sillivan

    Smith Jr, Frank and Knox are just bad fits to Knicks.
    They could be good players for other teams such as Heat, Lakers, Clippers and Bucks.

    Key word: could

    • MarlinsFanBase

      Agreed. Smith, Jr. is a talented player that, if put in the right culture, would be a quality player and possibly a borderline All Star.

      If the Knicks let him go for nearly nothing, I’d love to see the Heat take a flyer on that.

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      It’s easy to confuse them, both Gasols are old and worn out.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Smith needs a new place. I don’t think he wants to play in NY. His first yr he showed promise. Then things changed he lost his shot and confidence. NY is not for the meek. I think he just checked out. But a rook can’t ask for a trade. Problem for us is we lose him for nothing. So it’s wise to play him. Get him to show promise, consistency. At least we can get value for him. Randle, Smith, Knox are the ones most likely to be moved this yr. A small market franchise is best place for young guys. Randle is a talent and can help a team. We just need to get value for them. A real PG and shooter would be phenomenal.
    Pistons turned up the D on Knicks. They did not handle it well. This is where a solid vet or vets come in. Nothing is going to change overnight. It’s a rebuild and there will be bumps on the road.

    • You forget DSJ played in Dallas? Couldn’t play there. Point is, his basketball IQ can’t match his talent. His floor decisions are horrible.

  4. JonnyLucas

    Kyrie says he needs freedom to express himself… like any artist. Dude needs to get over himself.

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