ESPN Ranks Top 25 Under 25, Dennis Smith Jr. Not Mentioned
By Isaac Harris
Dennis Smith Jr. is obviously left out of a recent ESPN article ranking the top 25 players under 25 years old.
Dennis Smith Jr. is 20 years old.
Dennis Smith Jr. will also make either the first or second team all-rookie team.
Dennis Smith Jr. didn’t make ESPN’s latest top 25 players under 25 years old list and it’s completely ridiculous.
On March 7th, ESPN NBA Insiders Bobby Marks, Kevin Pelton and Chris Herring ranked their top 25 players under the age of 25 based off their current play and future potential. They took their rankings to make a master list while also listing each of their individual lists at the bottom.
Not only did Smith Jr. not make the master list of 25 players, but he didn’t make any of the individual lists also.
Some notes and takeaways from the list.
-At the top are guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns. All players I understand and deserve to be at the top.
-They have Nikola Jokic over Ben Simmons. I disagree with this, but could be swayed either way maybe.
-They have Otto Porter Jr. over Brandon Ingram….yeah.
-I like Andre Drummond, but they have him at 12 over guys like Clint Capela, Tatum, Ingram, Markkanen, Gordon, Kuzma and others.
Now the blasphemy.
Looking at the individual lists, here are some names that are ranked while Dennis Smith Jr. isn’t even mentioned.
-Marks lists Josh Richardson. I wish I could type the laughing emoji in this sentence.
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-Pelton lists Fred VanVleet as the 25th player. Yeah, no comment.
-Lastly, Herring lists Tyus Jones 24th.
ALL OF THESE THREE GUYS WERE RANKED OVER DENNIS SMITH JR.
I get if you want to throw some efficiency stats my way about Smith Jr. or talk about the team’s overall record, but is there an executive in the league that would take Tyus Jones over Dennis Smith Jr. now or moving forward?
Question, would the Heat, Raptors, or Timberwolves trade any of the above players for Smith Jr. straight up?
ABSOLUTELY THEY WOULD.
Read the full ESPN ranking here.
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I am in no way a disbeliever in Van Fleet, Richardson or Jones, but they simply aren’t on the same level as Smith Jr. Normally I don’t care about certain lists, but when there are misses like this, it deserves to be brought up.