The New York Knicks had a chance, a slim chance, to bring in a superstar point guard to lead the team into the future. The organization struck out on every single one except for Elfrid Payton…jokes.
Whether or not the Knicks were serious about spending top dollar for a player like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, the reality is, they don’t have a proven option at the point guard position, which can only mean one thing.
They’re completely confident that Dennis Smith Jr. can develop into a premier option at the position. Entering his third season in the NBA, averaging 14.5 points per game and 5 assists in his two years as a professional, Smith Jr. has the opportunity to take his game to the next level.
In fact, he’s been working all offseason to improve his perimeter shot, something he’s struggled with in the past, relying heavily on his elite athleticism to shine.
However, the expected starting PG for the Knicks stated, according to the NY Daily News:
“I think we can hit the playoffs. Everybody do a lot of talking and things like that,” he said, “I’ve never really been one to feed into it on social media and things like that. But I think we have a really good team, and especially with the way I’ve been working this summer, I think I’m going to take my game to the next level and it’s going to put us in the playoffs.”
Since this comment, the Knicks pried Marcus Morris, a bonafide starter in the league from the San Antonio Spurs on a one-year, $14.8 million deal.
Morris improves the team instantly, and it increases the chanced of Smith’s dream coming true — a playoff berth. The $70 million in cap space the Knicks had this offseason was used to sign free agents on short contracts, which wasn’t a bad idea given the fact they missed out on every big-name possible.
It’s clear they’re expecting to be more of an enticing destination once the youth on the team develops and proves it’s capable of winning games and making the playoffs. A good season in 2019-20 could prove to superstars looking to switch teams that the Knicks have a good thing going, and Dennis Smith Jr. could be a big part of that.