Even after his worst performance in a New York uniform, Dennis Smith Jr. has still exhibited everything the Knicks need from a point guard.
It’s a memory that often visits me in nightmares. Adam Silver’s voice ringing with an echo as deep as a bell in modern-day cathedrals.
“With the 8th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select Frank Ntilikina.”
New York’s seen one playoff series this decade. They’ve been among the bottom of the league for even longer. Dramatics have surrounded the team, and still; the frustration felt when the New York Knicks drafted Ntilikina was unrivaled by comparison.
A European prospect? Over someone we’ve been watching play the entire collegiate season?
Even two seasons later, the discord over Ntilikina’s stunted growth can be felt among Knicks fans everywhere. While he’s surely won their hearts behind ahead-of-his-time defensive prowess, nothing compares to a guard that can score.
One guard in particular. The very same guard that was on many a fans’ wish list in that fateful draft, Dennis Smith Jr.
In exchange for a Knicks package centered around Kristaps Porzingis, New York received a package centered around 21-year-old Smith—a point guard the Knicks were expected to draft in 2017.
It’s been years since fans welcomed a point guard to Madison Square Garden with the expectation that they’d endure a career in New York. Now in the aftermath of trading the face of their franchise, fans are falling in love with the idea of a basketball lifetime with the North Carolina State product.
A look at New York’s never-ending point guard dilemma, where they stand, and the path ahead for Dennis Smith Jr.
Point Guards of the Past
These are all players who’ve suited up for the New York Knicks at point guard over the last five seasons. Be prepared to scroll.
- Brandon Jennings
- Chasson Randle
- Derrick Rose
- Jose Calderon
- Langston Galloway
- Shane Larkin
- Pablo Prigioni
- Jerian Grant
- Ron Baker
- Trey Burke
- Jarrett Jack
- Emmanuel Mudiay
- Frank Ntilikina
- Ramon Sessions
That’s 14 names that have seemingly wandered in and out of the Knicks point guard rotation. Only two of the listed names are on the team’s roster today. And both of them have lost the starting job to newcomer Smith.