Smith Jr. gives Knicks
Nothing the Knicks received in the trade for Kristaps Porzingis and Co., was more valuable than the cap space that will be created this summer to allow the team an opportunity to sign two max free agents.
But an incredibly athletic 21-year-old lottery pick in his second season could end up being a pretty nice haul, too.
In his eighth game since joining the Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr. played one of the most efficient games of his young career, finishing with 19 points, 13 assists, six rebounds, two steals and no turnovers in the 130-118 win over the Spurs on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
“Me and coach [David Fizdale] had a really long meeting prior to [Saturday’s] practice, just hashing out the things he needs me to do,” Smith said. “He told me if I come in and execute those things we’d get a win.”
Smith routinely got open looks for Damyean Dotson on the perimeter, and was brilliant in the pick-and-roll, and hooking up with Mitchell Robinson (15 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks) for numerous alley-oops, including a Garden-rocking finish thrown off the backboard in the game’s final minute.