Guard Dennis Smith Jr. wants the New York Knicks to send him to the NBA G League.
That’s according to the New York Daily News, which reported Sunday that Smith requested the demotion to have a chance to prove he can play.
Smith was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. He was sent to New York as part of the trade that landed Kristaps Porzingis in Dallas on Jan. 31, 2019.
Smith, 23, had a terrific rookie season with the Mavericks in 2017-18, averaging 15.2 points, 5.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 29.7 minutes — all career highs — in 69 games (all starts).
Before the trade the following season, he started 32 games and averaged 13.6 points and 4.8 assists for the Mavericks.
His playing time diminished in the 2019-20 season, averaging 15.8 minutes and 5.5 points. This season, under new coach Tom Thibodeau, he has played just 29 minutes in three games, scoring nine total points, after fighting through an early season thigh bruise.
New York is expected to honor his request to allow him to play with the Westchester Knicks in the G League when the season starts Feb. 10 in a bubble near Orlando.
–Field Level Media