The Knicks will work out former North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. at their practice facility Wednesday, a league source confirmed.
Team president Phil Jackson has said the Knicks would be looking at “wings and guards,” and Smith could be available when they select eighth in the June 22 NBA Draft.
Smith averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists. 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals as a freshman, but the Wolfpack only went 15-17. Smith wasn’t at his best after tearing his ACL before his senior season of high school, but he still earned ACC Freshman of the Year honors.
Before that injury, Smith was considered a top point guard prospect along with Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, who are expected to be the top two picks in the draft.
“The team that drafts him, they’re getting an athletic lead guard who can score, who can get to the rim, who’s a reasonably good shooter at the moment but has to get better in that regard,” former St. John’s coach and ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Frischilla said recently. “But he has an Alpha Dog mentality.
“He was every bit on the level of Fultz and Ball before he got hurt before his senior year. They were all in the same tier. This kid has a bright long-term future.”
Over the weekend, Jackson was part of a Knicks contingent watching Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox at a Pro Day workout in Los Angeles. It’s unlikely Fox will fall to the Knicks, though.
Other guards the Knicks will target if they’re on the board include Kentucky’s Malik Monk and Frank Ntilikina, who’s played professionally in France.
The Knicks have had talks with Portland about acquiring one of their three first-round picks (15, 20 and 26). They have an interest in North Carolina forward Justin Jackson, who is projected to go in the teens. Jackson will work out for the Knicks June 13.
The Knicks also have two second-round picks, Nos. 44 and 58, in the draft.
The New York Post was the first to report that the Knicks would work out Smith Wednesday.