LeBron: Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr. at No. 8

by 5d ago
Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

LeBron James thinks Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. is the genuine article.

After the Cavaliers' (surprisingly tense) 111-104 victory in Dallas, James told the New York Times' Marc Stein that Smith Jr. "should be a Knick."

That's no shot at the Mavericks' organization, who swooped up the dynamic point guard with the No. 9 pick of the 2017 draft; the Knicks passed on Smith Jr. with the No. 8 pick. Instead, New York selected French point guard Frank Ntilikina.

Smith played a major role in keeping the score close down the stretch, eventually finishing with 19 points, seven assists, five rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. He turned the ball over just once in 29 minutes.

Overall, Smith Jr. is averaging 14.2 points, 4.9 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game - with occasional jaw-dropping acrobatics:

Only time will tell whether the Knicks will come to regret their decision to pass on Smith Jr.; Ntilikina, though raw on the offensive end, has drawn rave reviews for his defensive polish, despite turning 19 just this past July.

LeBron will have an opportunity to get another look at Ntilikina - who appears destined to be linked forever with Smith Jr. because of their draft slots - with the Cavs heading back to Madison Square Garden on Monday.