LeBron James says Knicks should have taken Dennis Smith Jr

Aubrey Yates
November 12, 2017

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) greets Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) before an National Basketball Association game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. He should be a Knick. While Smith has put up some numbers this year - including scoring 21 points vs. Cleveland on Saturday - Ntilikina hasn't had the opportunity to shine as a starter just yet and is still searching for a definitive performance in the orange and blue of NY. "That's going to make some headlines, but he should be a Knick".

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's self-admitted tank during the 2016-17 National Basketball Association season paid off for them in this year's draft.

Speaking about the youngster after the game, LeBron expressed his surprise that Smith wasn't taken until the ninth pick in the draft and criticised the New York Knicks for passing on him, which can be perceived as a shot at Phil Jackson. Smith Jr. possesses the kind of speed and explosiveness reminiscent of the former Miami Heat superstar.

"He's an unbelievable talent [with] athleticism", said James, who had a spectacular chase-down block in the fourth quarter against Smith, who responded with a breakaway slam dunk the next possession. "He's very poised to be his age, can shoot the ball, penetrate".

In comparison to Smith's numbers, Ntilikina is averaging just 4.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game for the Knicks.

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Smith played just a single season for the North Carolina State Wolfpack last season, going on to be named ACC Rookie of the Year. I've been knowing that. "I've been with him for so long now so, I've been knowing his talent level".

The Knicks already beat the Cavs this year, hammering them by 19 at The Q on October 29 - it was their first win over Cleveland since October 30, 2014. In nine games as a Knick - none of them starts - Ntilikina is averaging 4.7 points and 5.0 assists.

The Cavs' next game is Monday night against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. And James is telling them how they should've run their draft.

Knicks center Enes Kanter tweeted in response: "Nope!"

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