The recent subject of trade rumors, Dennis Smith Jr. says he wants to be the best version of himself for the New York Knicks.
Dennis Smith Jr.’s up-and-down season is hitting a new front: trade rumors. Smith was one of the centerpieces of the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis trade last January, but now the point guard reportedly wants off the New York Knicks.
During a Saturday shootaround before the team’s game against the shorthanded Washington Wizards, Smith addressed the trade rumors that are hanging over him like a black cloud.
“It hasn’t been in my mind,’’ Smith said via Marc Berman of the New York Post. “You know what I’m saying? My thing is to take care of what I got going on now. I’m with the New York Knicks, so I try to be the best version of me with this team.”
Smith is currently dealing with an oblique strain that will keep him out for his second-straight game. Add in the fact that the third-year point guard is last on a three-man depth chart and it’s clear why he might be feeling some frustration with his situation.
“The way I look at it, of course, you come in and you want to play,’’ Smith later added. “I don’t know how much you’re supposed to feed into it. You want to see him do well. You want to do well yourself. That’s what it’s really about.’’
Whether or not Smith is gone by the Feb. 6 trade deadline remains to be seen. The 22-year-old is having the worst season of his career and his trade value has never been lower.
Not to mention, if the Knicks sell low on Smith, the Porzingis trade would look worse than it already does. The salary cap space created didn’t manifest into any marquee free agents and the Dallas Mavericks are developing into a powerhouse. As a result, the pair of draft picks acquired in the deal will likely fall in the low 20s of the first round.