Dennis Smith Jr. Voted ROY in NBA’s Rookie Survey
Dennis Smith has no shortage of excitement surrounding him, but a new survey just released among NBA rookies only adds fuel to the fire for Mavs fans.
Dennis Smith Jr. has already begun to turn heads across the NBA. A strong summer league showing which landed him first-team honors for the tournament combined with high expectations are making Mavs fans justifiably thrilled about him. Smith outplayed some if not every single one of the players drafted in front of him on draft night.
The NBA rookie survey was released today and revealed the excitement surrounding Smith around the NBA. Earlier this month, thirty-nine rookies were polled over various questions relating to the long term success of that group. Smith was not only projected to be rookie of the year, but was also named most athletic.
The rookie of the year tally had him finishing above rookie counterparts Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz. Smith Jr. was picked ninth in the draft, but the consensus around the league seems to include him in some higher company. Smith was the third point guard taken in this past year’s draft but has the Mavs excited as if they have found their next Steve Nash.
Smith received 25.7 percent of the vote among the thirty-nine rookies. He certainly lived up to the expectations during his summer league performance, and during offseason workouts has raised eyebrows among some of the Mavs coaches.
Rick Carlisle seems to be very happy about the selection his team made on draft night. During his draft night press conference, Carlisle remarked, “Before anybody asks, I would project him as the starter.” Carlisle’s trust in the young rookie is a great sign for the Mavericks who have needed a long term answer at the point guard position for way too long.
Since Jason Kidd, the Mavs have been on a point guard odyssey. After the future Hall of Famer’s departure from Dallas, the Mavs have started Darren Collison, Mike James, Derek Fisher, Jose Calderon, Jameer Nelson, Rajon Rondo, Raymond Felton, Devin Harris, Deron Williams, and Yogi Ferrell at point guard. That is too many names for a team trying to stabilize itself in the thick Western Conference.
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Dennis Smith Jr. is the most intriguing young option for the Mavs in years, and the respect for him among his opponents in endlessly encouraging. The Mavs will have to wait until the preseason to get their first glimpse of Smith since his impressive summer league performance, but the anticipation surrounding Smith is only becoming more and more intense.