Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr. drops to 29th best player under 25

Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks point guard, Dennis Smith Jr., was ranked 29th on FanSided’s annual “25-under-25 rankings. Dennis Smith was ranked 24th last year.

Dallas Mavericks fans have been impressed with what Dennis Smith Jr. was able to do in his rookie year. Although he was viewed as a great steal for the Mavs with the 9th pick, those of us who had seen him play and watched his highlights knew that his game would need to go through a refining period.

Despite his raw talent, DSJ really stepped up this last season and showed us what he can do. Between monster dunks, solid shooting and great passing numbers, there is no doubt that Junior looks like he will have a great career ahead of him.

So why is it that he dropped in the overall rankings of the best players under 25 years old? Well, there are a couple explanations for that.

First, there is an entire new rookie class here now, and this was a very talented class. Rookies ranked ahead of DSJ include Wendell Carter Jr., Jaren Jackson Jr. and Luka Doncic. I’m not sure that any rookie really deserves to be ahead of DSJ aside from maybe Luka, but even if there were more, Wendell Carter and Jaren Jackson wouldn’t have been my choices.

Grading the Mavs entire 2018 offseason. Must Read

Second, some of the guys from Smith’s rookie class really showed that they belong up there. Players like Jaylen Brown and Lonzo Ball were ranked ahead of DSJ last year too, but others like Donovan Mitchell and Lauri Markkanen kind of came out of nowhere in a sense.

During most of the explanation from the FanSided writer (which you can read here), he talks about how Dennis was very raw and not productive to the overall team goal. I think that stats are important in many cases when watching basketball, including advanced statistics. I also think that we need to remember that numbers don’t tell the whole story often times, which I feel is exactly what happened to DSJ.

I do not think there are 28 young players that are better than Dennis Smith Jr. in the NBA today. There are some that have proven to be better with their play and others who appear to be important players in the league for years to come, but there are some that are neither of those things.

Next. Dallas Mavericks: Three players on the hot seat this year

I feel that Dennis Smith is going to have a great year this year and maybe even be in the conversation for some NBA individual awards. His numbers are going to go up, but more importantly his impact on the game is going to go up and Mavs fans should definitely be excited about that.