Frank Ntilikina Dennis Smith Jr.
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Knicks passed on Dennis Smith Jr. to take Frank Ntilikina. The point guards will meet for the third time in their careers.

Danny Small

Fair or not, Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. will always be compared to one another. The New York Knicks and Phil Jackson famously took the French project one pick before the dynamic point guard.

Add in the caveat that both are point guards and the two players will be forever linked. Even LeBron James weighed in on the Knicks’ decision to draft Ntilikina over Smith.

After their rookie seasons, a glance at their stat lines will tell you that the Knicks made a tragic mistake by selecting Ntilikina and the Dallas Mavericks landed the point guard out of sheer luck.


Smith averaged 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game compared to Ntilikina’s pedestrian line of 8.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. Smith was playing more minutes last season, but the numbers per 36 minutes tell a similar story to the per game averages.


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