Dennis Smith Jr. Asks To Play In G League

Buried on the Knicks’ bench, guard Dennis Smith Jr. has asked the front office to send him to the G League in order to receive playing time, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports.

It’s a highly unusual request for a former lottery pick but Smith hasn’t played in the past nine games. Smith, who also battled a thigh injury this season, has only appeared in three games.

Smith came to New York two years ago as part of Kristaps Porzingis deal with Dallas. He was viewed back then as a potential long-term solution at point guard but he soon fell out of favor. Smith averaged 15.2 PPG and 5.2 APG in his rookie year with the Mavs.

Last season, he appeared in just 34 games, averaging 5.5 PPG and 2.9 APG with New York.

Smith is due to become an unrestricted free agent unless the team extends a $7MM+ qualifying offer, a highly unlikely scenario.

The Westchester Knicks are one of the 18 teams participating in the G League season in Orlando. Myles Powell, Jared Harper and Theo Pinson are among the notables on the Westchester roster.

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30 thoughts on “Dennis Smith Jr. Asks To Play In G League

  1. Jason Lancaster

    He should just ask to be released. The Knicks historically do a horrible job developing young talent, and Thibs isn’t exactly the guy who’s going to fix that.

    At least Barrett and Robinson are getting run. Why Quickley isn’t starting is beyond me.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      The only reason Thibs was signed was to fix this. This ain’t a history class. Smith, Nttilikina, Knox, Randle, RJ, Mitch, Braz, now Toppin, Quickly. Are all young and need fixing. So far he’s fixed our team D from worst in NBA to best in NBA. I’d say that’s historically a bright start. The offense is a work in progress. Smith has had his chance. Personally I don’t think he wants to be here. Thibs only needs to fix him enough to get value for him. So probably best thing is for him to play. Good for him

      • I mean just let the kid go play in the g league or trade him to anyone for anything, thibs is great at fixing defense but as a bulls fan unless you have an mvp, your offense will be middle of the pack at best even with an mvp it’ll probably be middle of the pack

      • Jason Lancaster

        I don’t understand: You say Thibs is supposed to salvage Smith’s trade value so the team can trade him, and that Thibs was signed to help fix the team.

        Makes sense.

        But if you’re right, why isn’t Thibs playing him again? Seems like DSJ might get more interest on the trade market if he got some reps…

        Maybe the problem here is that Thibs doesn’t like players who aren’t good defenders, and doesn’t play them even when that’s the best thing for the franchise?

        Hmm. Maybe we could read up on why he was fired in Chicago and Minnesota…

        • KnickerbockerAl

          I’m not saying he’s gonna do it. I’m saying he’s here to try. Smith contract is up. We have to give him qualifying offer for another yr (7.2 mill). Or he’s a FA next yr. The guys been hurt and Thibs has other players to look at. Payton is on 1 yr contract. Nttilikina also has qualifying offer due. Then you have to give a good look at Quickly. And you also want to win gms right. First he has to be able to play. Up to now he really hasn’t been able to. I’m not saying I know for sure. But that’s what it seems like to me. Point is we have to play him to show him. And time is running out. And that’s not on Thibs. It’s on franchise and Smith. For you to bring up his past jobs. Has nothing fo do with us. I can explain all that to you too. But for what really. We know Thibs since he was an assistant with JVG. He knows NYC and we believe in him. Smith really is a weak argument to bring up. Knicks are youngest team in league. And what is he doing with them. Every team and job is different. We all get wiser with time. Thibs has had success everywhere he’s been. No coach lasts forever. So what’s your point after 20 gms bro. NY we support our own. He got his start here so we will ride him. Only 20 gms and it’s going very well so far.
          In Thibs we Trust.

    • Chris Ekstrand

      It doesn’t matter one bit what the Knicks have “historically” done with young talent. This is Year 1 of a brand new Basketball Operations regime.

    • You say the Knicks historically do a horrible job developing young talent, then mention three guys they’re doing a great job developing.

      The fact is that DSJ is just not a good player. This fact is not due to the Knicks poor development skills. It’s due to DSJ’s talent level, injuries, and attitude. He wasn’t any good on the Mavs, either. If he wants to go to the G league to develop, good.

      Being released and going to another team just means he’ll ride the far end of the bench in another city.

      • Jason Lancaster

        “DSJ is just not a good player?” Stop. He might not be a starter in the league (I don’t know), but “not a good player”? That’s absurd.

        The kid is a lottery pick who’s only crime is getting sideways with Rick Carlisle (something that’s easy to do, see Rondo, Rajon), getting traded to an awful Knicks team, getting hurt, and then getting a coach who’s famously bad at developing talent. You can say DSJ hasn’t done well lately, but saying he’s not good? You have no idea.

        The fact is, there’s a long list of lottery picks the Knicks have botched in one way or another. The fact that DSJ isn’t working out there shouldn’t be a surprise.

        And yes, I know things are “all new” now in NY, but until the owner changes, they’re going to keep having the same problems.

        • It’s not absurd, it’s reality. DSJ is not a good player. If he was a free agent, there would barely be any interest in him.

          If you’d like to confirm what I’m saying, I’d invite you to look at his stats, particularly his advanced stats. He’s not good by any measure. You’re seriously overvaluing him.

          And when he was in Dallas, he wasn’t good, either, so please stop blaming the Knicks for his inability to play. Low shooting percentage, doesn’t pass well, doesn’t play defense, low efficiency, below replacement value, the list goes on.

          • Jason Lancaster

            You missed the point.

            He’s young. He hasn’t even had one full season under one head coach.

            You’re talking about stats like they mean something when evaluating a young guard. They might, and they might not. There have been dozens of good players who got off to bad starts.

            Your confidence here about your talent scouting ability is woefully misplaced. Even if you end up being right about DSJ, the fact that you think there’s enough information means you don’t understand.

            • DSJs attitude and decision making is what gets him in trouble and limits him. He may be athletically talented, but if he can’t mentally handle playing with the pros and check his attitude at the door, then he probably needs to think about life after basketball.

        • justkidding

          He is not a good player. He got sideways with Rick Carlisle because he didn’t want to sacrifice his touches for Doncic even though he was putting up better numbers next to him. Guys who can score when they hold the ball all the time are a dime a dozen in this league. Fringe roster guy, insurance against injury. I doubt he would bring back more than a late 2nd round pick in a trade.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        It’s only 20 gms. Let’s give him a few yrs before you shoot him down. Is that too much to ask. Right
        We all deserve a shot is all I’m saying. This is Smiths 3rd yr here.

  2. Sensitive Fanboy

    Ball 15+ million
    DSJ 7+ million

    No thank you to both.

    DSJ could be filler in a package surrounding Randle maybe. Probably be released on waivers otherwise.

    Ball, I think has a believer or 2 for 1 season @ $15 million.

  3. "Stons" Fan

    Just ask for a release like the commentor above suggests. I am sure a tanking team would like to give him a long look.

    • Sensitive Fanboy

      Being released on waivers is the same thing. Whether DSJ asks for it, or not.

      My comment posted just after Jason Lancaster. Probably would have deleted it had I noticed we made similar comments.

      Thanks for the suggestion

  4. hiflew

    The only problem with DSJ wanting to go elsewhere is that he is already in the place that need a PG the most. I guess he could pull a Kris Dunn and go to an up and coming team as a 3rd PG. He will probably hang around the league for 8-10 years like Michael Carter-Williams or DJ Augustin and maybe have a few occasional glimpses of what might have been. But as far as reaching his potential, I think that ship has sailed.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Maybe so, but he’s awfully young still. I’d like to think he has upside.

      • He’s failed hard in two separate places. Maybe going to the G league is the best thing for him.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        He has upside, I agree with you. But he’s not shown it here. And if you watch him play. You’ll see he doesn’t want to be here. It’s what I get. So best thing for my team. Get his value up and trade him. Quickly is here and he wants it lol.

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      hiflew that’s a good point about NYK being starved of PGs, and if DSJ can’t get on the floor with no competition, there’s nowhere to go where he can play in the NBA.

      I think this is a really smart, self-aware request by DSJ. Yes, he still has upside, but he needs to play to develop, if he’s going to.

  5. Simmons>Russ

    I like this for DSJ he’s putting his ego aside and saying he wants reps out on the court to prove his worth. Great thinking as his contracts going to expire and he’s not getting looks.
    If he can go out there and put up 20+ points per game and 5+ assists then teams might have more interest and for himself he’s going to grow in confidence

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    link to basketball-reference.com
    If you watched him play in college or in Dallas. You’d know that he’s got gm. He put up good stats his first two yrs. Then got injured and has been injured ever since. Nothing serious just nagging stuff to keep him off floor. IMO he can’t handle NYC. We are not exactly the patient types. The chaos since he’s been here. Has not helped him either. There are players who want it. There are players who want to wait. Well we are tired of waiting no matter how hard you’ve had it. Last 4 yrs have been chaos. Don’t mean you can’t find your gm. There is no doubt who’s in charge now or our direction. About time you feel like playing, it will only help you. All I can say is play your mind off. So we can get value for you. And we wish you the best wherever you go. Smith has the talent to be at least what Payton is. He doesn’t want to or can’t do it here. So hopefully he can do it elsewhere.

  7. brian214

    I love it when someone can be honest about their team’s fanbase. Couple that with the compassion and understanding of a young, frustrated player you’re gonna end up changing people’s minds about Knicks fans. Seriously, as a Philly fan I would like to see the Knicks become relevant again (and take some of the shine off the Nets…good grief I’m sick of those guys already).

  8. Chris Ekstrand

    It doesn’t matter one bit what the Knicks have “historically” done with young talent. This is Year 1 of a brand new Basketball Operations regime.

  9. Good move by DSJ. Tells the world he at least wants to play BB. It’s in question. He’s a great athlete that stumbled into BB, has never been very good at it, and doesn’t appear to even like it that much. But it pays, and its a great job to be paid for being a great athlete and trying. So, he’ll keep trying, or pretend to.

  10. Luckylefty2

    Love this! G league isn’t punishment, the guys who take it serious really develop.

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