Detroit Pistons: Dennis Smith Jr. has been better than advertised so far

Dennis Smith Jr. #0 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
Dennis Smith Jr. #0 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /

It may be too early to tell, but the Detroit Pistons appear to have another revitalized career on their hands.

With his stock arguably being at the lowest of his young career, Dennis Smith Jr is already capitalizing on the opportunity he’s gotten with the Pistons, and quieting the whispers that he’s not a capable NBA point guard.

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After three disappointing seasons that didn’t mirror the potential of his All-Rookie season in Dallas, Smith Jr. went from prized lottery pick, to another young guard toiling away on a bad team with a contaminated culture in New York.

In Detroit, Smith Jr. has immediately exemplified the traits that made him such a touted prospect in the first place. His ball-handling skills, ability to penetrate into the lane and make plays, and play at different speeds are still obvious.

Detroit’s game against the Magic was an indication of this, and with Delon Wright being out, his opportunities should continue.

Smith Jr. had another strong game in the loss to the Pelicans with 11 points, seven assists, three steals and three rebounds.

Detroit Pistons: Patience could pay off with Dennis Smith Jr.

Too often, when lottery picks don’t initially perform well, they’re written off within two years, and deemed to be incapable of fulfilling the potential that’s placed upon them at 19 or 20 years old.

Patience is thinner than it’s ever been around the league with young players, particularly guards who don’t come in and almost immediately meet the insurmountable expectations placed upon them by a franchise.

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After Smith’s lone year in Dallas, his career was plagued in New York, with inconsistent minutes, several coaching changes, and an influx of guards with everlasting role changes that rapidly fluctuated from starters, to bench roles, to racking up DNP’s.

While it’s still early, and Smith still has a lot to work on (conditioning, shooting, and getting re-adjusted to playing solid minutes), there’s most likely still lots of untapped potential from a young guard that desperately needed a change of scenery.

He’s 23 years old, has loads of athleticism, and has already proven to be a solid NBA point guard when given the opportunity.

As of now, the Detroit Pistons appear to have another reclamation project on their hands with another lottery pick that has been written off far too soon, and has already proven to have a lot of talent left. May the reclamation era continue.

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