Sources: N.C. State PG Dennis Smith Jr. on Knicks’ draft radar
N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is on the New York Knicks’ radar as the club prepares for the NBA draft.
Earlier this week, members of the organization were in touch with representatives for Smith Jr. to discuss scheduling a pre-draft workout, league sources confirmed. The Knicks’ contact with Smith is an indication they want to take a closer look at him as a potential first-round pick.
Smith, one of several talented point guards in the 2017 draft class, may be available when the Knicks select at No. 8. Team president Phil Jackson has said that the club will focus on wings and point guards because it has so many big men under contract. Members of the organization are high on French point guard Frank Ntilikina and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, per sources.
It is unknown if the club has scheduled workouts with Fox, Monk or Ntilikina yet, though they are expected to bring Ntilikina in for a private workout at some point, a league source confirms. There has been no workout scheduled yet with Smith Jr. but the contact made earlier in the week — first reported by ZagsBlog — should lead to a workout being on the books in the near future.
The Knicks, who own two second-round picks in 2017 (44 and 58), are scheduled to bring in two Iowa State players who should be available in the second round.
Iowa State point guard Monte Morris is scheduled to work out for the Knicks on June 8, agent Ron Shade of Octagon told ESPN. New York is one of several teams for whom Morris is scheduled to work out. Morris is viewed by college observers as a steady, dependable, high-IQ guard, as evidenced by his 1.2 turnovers per game average while playing 35.3 minutes a night. Morris averaged 16.2 points and 6.2 assists per game for the Cyclones as a senior.
Iowa State forward Deonte Burton is also scheduled to work out for the Knicks, per a league source. He begins his East Coast workouts with a visit to the Knicks on Wednesday and the Celtics next Friday. College-level scouts like Burton’s wingspan (6-11.5) and view him as a potential Jae Crowder type in that he can defend multiple positions well.
On Wednesday, the Knicks worked out a group that included North Carolina big man Tony Bradley, Arizona’s Kobi Simmons, Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey, Florida’s Kasey Hill and North Carolina State big man Omer Yurtseven, per ESPN sources.
Bradley is projected as a first-round pick by ESPN’s Chad Ford, which suggests that the Knicks are at least considering acquiring a second first-round pick. (More evidence? Some members of the organization are intrigued by North Carolina’s Justin Jackson.) Simmons, Dorsey, Yurtseven and Hill are projected by Ford as either second-round picks or undrafted.
Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer Close Covers the New York Knicks for ESPNNewYork.com Follow on Twitter N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is on the New York Knicks’ radar as the club prepares for the NBA draft. Earlier this week, members of the organization were in touch with representatives for