Report: Teams Inquiring About Knicks' Dennis Smith Jr., Who Wants A Trade

Point Guard Was Acquired In Kristaps Porzingis Deal

Alex Greenberg
December 27, 2019 - 2:15 pm

Things haven’t been easy for Dennis Smith Jr. since he was traded to the Knicks.

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Smith Jr. was the only player acquired by the Knicks in the controversial January trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks. Since then, Smith Jr. has struggled to produce on the court, and has dealt with tragedy and injuries off of it.

Now, his time in New York may already be coming to an end. According to the Athletic’s Shams Charania, other teams have reached out to the Knicks about Smith Jr., and the 21-year-old apparently “prefers” to be traded.

This report meshes well with another recent report that came from SNY’s Ian Begley. Begley claims that “a few Knicks” have privately expressed their desire to be traded ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline. Smith Jr. could very well be one of those Knicks.

Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. dribbles the ball against Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague on March 10, 2018, at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

The Knicks were expected to be a little bit better this season. After failing to sign a big free agent in the summer, they ended up signing experienced players who were supposed to deliver some respectable results. Instead, the team quickly fell to the very bottom of the standings. David Fizdale was fired in early December, and now Mike Miller is the coach on an interim basis as the franchise continues to navigate a frustratingly long rebuild. 

New York is only six games out of the playoffs, but getting there still seems like a longshot. Some of those players who signed expecting to push for the postseason may now be among these players asking for trades to get out before a possible tank begins.

In the case of Smith Jr., there are decent explanations for his struggles. His stepmother died suddenly in October, and he has spent a good portion of the early season dealing with injuries. He’s only 21 and isn’t a lost cause by any means, but he may soon be trying to turn his career around in another city.

The former No. 9 overall pick is averaging just over five points and just under three assists per game. He has only started one game this campaign. 

The NBA’s trade deadline arrives on February 6, so there’s still some time for the Knicks to find a trade for any players who may want to leave.