Dallas Mavericks: Who Can We Compare Dennis Smith Jr. To?

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: Joe Jackson
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: Joe Jackson /

The Mavericks have themselves a new face to their franchise. Ladies and Gentleman, that man goes by the name of Dennis Smith Jr. So what are his comparisons and what is his future?

When June 22nd, 2017 rolled around, The Dallas Mavericks franchise was headed for a change that they did not believe would fall their way. With the 9th pick of this year’s 2017 NBA draft, the Mavericks went on to select their future face of the franchise, Dennis Smith Jr.

Dennis Smith Jr. was praised by NBA scouts for his speed, and sheer explosiveness. His ability to get to the rim and score almost effortlessly was seen throughout his collegiate year at NC State.

What most people never praised him for was his ability to make plays, distribute the ball and make the players around him better. We witnessed that exact thing during this year’s 2017 Summer League experience with his teammates at hand.

I do understand that he is up against summer league players where the majority of them will not make an NBA roster this year; however the level of play that Smith Jr. Shows gives us a bit of a prelude to his beginning of his rookie campaign.

Many have muttered the words of Dennis Smith Jr. as a potential candidate for Rookie of the Year, and it was mentioned from none other than Blazer’s SG CJ McCollum.

The idea that Dennis Smith Jr. has been mentioned already, especially by NBA players as the potential ROY candidate has to be worth something.

The future seems bright and the comparisons have already begun to what type of player DSJ can become. Below I will take a look at two potential best case scenarios that fans have drawn comparisons to.

Derrick Rose:

Derrick Rose is one of the most interesting players that has played in the NBA today. Rose has had unfortunate luck over the last several years. He has gone from MVP in 2011, and possible prospect of Dethroning King James in the Eastern Conference to an injury-prone, borderline, starter.

We can all imagine the player that D-Rose would have become if he had never suffered the injuries.

D-Rose, has to be one of the most interesting comparisons that have been suggested by fans, and commentators. One thing that is visible in comparison between D-Rose and DSJ is the explosiveness they we have all seen from both players.

Dennis Smith Jr. has, in his limited time in summer league, been able to drive to the hoop with ease just like a young D-Rose once did.

It has been said that DSJ is like a Rose with a jump shot. Time will tell which player he will grow to be, which brings me to the next comparison.

Damian Lillard:

Damian Lillard as we all know has been dominate over the years. He has steadily become one of the best PG’s in the league today.

Dennis Smith Jr. and Lillard are identical in frame: they are the same height and weight. Lillard has advanced his game and become one of the league’s most alpha players in clutch situations. It is difficult to make such a comparison right now with DSJ, however, his demeanor has proven so far to make this assumption a reality.

If Dennis Smith Jr. can develop a consistent jumper, he can easily look to mirror the game that Lillard plays. Both are fast, and explosive when taking it to the hoop. Only time will tell if Smith Jr. can live up to the comparisons or even reach further then that.

As we can all expect this match up this season will be one to watch out for.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 15: Dennis Smith Jr.
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 15: Dennis Smith Jr. /


Dennis Smith Jr. is lighting up summer league in a big way. His case for Rookie of the Year before the NBA season begins is intriguing. In a year where the 2017 NBA Draft Class is one of the deepest in a long time, Dennis Smith’s chances are enticing.

There is no reason to believe that this hype surrounding Dennis Smith Jr. is temporary. He is solidifying himself early on as a grooming star in the making.

DSJ is playing like he has a chip on his shoulder, and that’s not a bad thing for Mavs fans. His skills are great, his ceiling is high, and his motivation and instincts are intact.

What more can we ask of a rookie that was lucky enough to fall all the way to the 9th pick in this years draft? We all thought it was highly unlikely. And as we can all remember hearing of the war room noise on draft day after the selection of Junior, the excitement extended right up to the front office.

Next: 3 Possible Reasons Why Nerlens Noel is Still a Free Agent

Need I add more to the anticipation? The future is here, and his name is Dennis Smith Jr. everybody.