Former lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr. has signed a contract with the Trail Blazers to attend training camp, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). While Wojnarowski doesn’t provide specifics on Smith’s contract details, it sounds like it’ll be a non-guaranteed one-year deal, giving him a chance to compete for a roster spot.
The ninth overall pick in the 2017 draft, Smith began his career in Dallas and had a promising rookie season for the Mavericks, averaging 15.2 PPG and 5.2 APG as the team’s starting point guard. However, he struggled with his shooting efficiency and was traded to New York in his second season in the deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas.
Smith never really found his footing with the Knicks and was eventually dealt to the Pistons in February of this year after spending two seasons in New York. Detroit opted not to issue a qualifying offer to DSJ at season’s end, so he became an unrestricted free agent and took a month to find a new home.
In 179 total NBA games, Smith has averaged 11.8 PPG and 4.4 APG on .400/.316/.652 shooting in 25.2 minutes per contest.
The Trail Blazers currently only have 13 players on guaranteed contracts and will have to carry at least 14 during the regular season, so there’s a path to a roster spot for Smith. However, I’d expect Portland to invite a few more players to camp to compete for that 14th spot. The team, which is now over the tax line, may begin the season with its 15th spot open to avoid paying an extra salary.