According to a report, rival NBA teams believe Dennis Smith Jr. could be hoping for a way off the New York Knicks.
The New York Knicks acquired Dennis Smith Jr. with the hopes that he could become the franchise’s answer at point guard. His tenure with the team isn’t going as planned and according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, other teams believe Smith wants out of New York.
“Nearly one year into the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis trade, rival teams believe Dennis Smith Jr. prefers a move from the Knicks,” wrote Charania. “Several teams have made inquiries into the Knicks about Smith, sources say.”
This lends credence to an earlier report from SNY’s Ian Begley that there are a few Knicks who have privately expressed a desire to be traded.
As Charania notes, Smith came to the Knicks in the massive Kristaps Porzingis trade that occurred in January of 2019. The Knicks sent Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Smith, DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two first-round picks.
Jordan and Matthews are both on new teams, leaving Smith as the only tangible asset the Knicks have left from the Porzingis deal. The first-round picks are likely to be in the high 20s of the draft considering how well Dallas is playing. Of course, the Knicks also cleared a boatload of salary in the deal, but they failed to acquire any of the marquee free agents over the summer.
It’s still unclear what the Knicks could receive in a trade involving Smith, but the third-year point guard is a name to watch as the Feb. 6 trade deadline approaches.