Detroit Pistons: Can Dennis Smith Jr. be a player for Detroit?

Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons protects the ball from Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons protects the ball from Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have traded Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr. and future draft compensation.

This doesn’t look like a great haul for Detroit, depending on what draft picks they get back, as Dennis Smit Jr. was out of the Knicks’ rotation and recently assigned to the G-League.

If the Pistons get their own 2021 second-round pick back from the Knicks it wouldn’t be terrible, as that pick should end up being in the low 30’s.

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Fans are probably more excited about the prospect of that draft pick than Smith Jr. who has seen his minutes and numbers tumble every season that he’s been on the Knicks.

But this is a guy who was drafted 9th overall by the Dallas Mavericks and looked to be a solid up-and-coming young point guard at one point.

He was the centerpiece of the Kristaps Porzingis trade and the talk of Summer League before joining the Knicks when everyone agreed that they might have gotten a steal. It didn’t work out but this guy has blue-chip talent.

He is still only 23-years-old, so there is time for him to revive his career.

Could he do it with the Detroit Pistons?

Detroit Pistons: Dennis Smith Jr. should get a chance with Detroit

The Detroit Pistons don’t have much depth at point guard so Dennis Smith Jr. might end up in the rotation at some point this season and should get a chance to show what he can do.

He has averaged as many as 15 points and five assists in his career but has never shot the ball well, which has been his main problem.

He has never shot higher than 32 percent from long-range, so he’s not going to help the Pistons’ woeful 3-point shooting.

He has the quickness and strength to get into the lane so if Smith Jr. could ever figure out his shot, he might have a place as a score-first backup point guard in the NBA.

Detroit should take risks on lottery talent like Smith Jr. that hasn’t yet been fulfilled. It has worked out well with Josh Jackson so far and Dennis Smith Jr. could be the Pistons’ next project player.

If he ends up being anything for the Detroit Pistons it will just be gravy on the Derrick Rose trade and if he doesn’t the Pistons haven’t risked anything.

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