Sports

LeBron James says New York Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr

LeBron James says New York Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr

Dennis Smith Jr.is being considered as the steal of this year's draft as he surprisingly fell to number nine and was selected by the Dallas Mavericks. James was likely taking a shot at Phil Jackson, who was still the Knicks' team president at the time of the draft.

After the game, James gave Smith praise while also criticizing one of the teams that passed on him in the draft. That's going to make some headlines, but he should be a Knick. Smith went to Dallas at No. 9, and when he tore up Summer League in Las Vegas, there was plenty of chatter about whether the Knicks made a mistake.

Smith Jr.is the Mavericks' second-leading scorer at 14.8 points per game and is averaging 5.1 assists, too.

The Knicks face the Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Late last month, NY routed Cleveland 114-95 at Quicken Loans Arena in the first meeting of the season between both squads.

Knicks center Enes Kanter didn't take long to respond to James' comments, tweeting that the team is happy with Ntilikina. "And I doesn't matter if it's LeBron or whoever it is, I can not just let him disrespect him like that". James and Jackson have been feuding since November of past year, after Jackson referred to James' business associates as a "posse".

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"But I don't care who (it is), I just can not let anyone disrespect my family like that", Kanter continued. He's second amongst rookies in steals per game, fifth in assists, and ranks third in the National Basketball Association in deflections per 36 minutes behind just Paul George and Thaddeus Young.

LeBron says Mark Cuban and the Mavericks got a "diamond in the rough" with rookie Dennis Smith Jr.

James' comments may have been another shot at Jackson, who he publicly rebuked last season.

The Zen Master's final draft pick, before he was sacked in June, was Frenchman Frank Ntilikina at number eight, one place before Smith.

Thankfully, Kanter jumped to Ntilikina's defense and expressed how grateful he is to have the two-time LNB Pro A Best Young Player award-winner on the roster.


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