NBA Draft 2017 Prospect Watch: Dennis Smith Jr

Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports /

Dennis Smith Jr. is one of the top point guard prospects of a stacked point guard class in this year’s NBA Draft.

All the hype in the 2017 NBA Draft is surrounding Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball as most experts have Fultz and Ball going in the top two picks of the draft. Beyond them, there are others with the talent to end up as the best of the class, though. Particularly at the point guard position.

Anyone who has seen Dennis Smith Jr. play throughout the season will know that he has the ability to be ranked right up there along with Fultz and Ball, when all is said and done.

Coming out of high school in North Carolina, Dennis Smith Jr. was the number one point guard recruit and fourth overall in the 2016 class according to ESPN’s Top 100, ahead of the likes of Fultz, Ball, and De’Aaron Fox.

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Before Smith chose to play basketball at North Carolina State, he suffered an ACL injury in August 2015 during the semi-finals of an Adidas Nations event. After the six to nine month recovery, Smith graduated high school and enrolled early at NC State in January 2016.

As Milwaukee Buck fans know with Jabari Parker, it takes time to recover and return to full strength. Not only to return to physical shape but also to prepare yourself mentally to overcome the hurdles associated with a major injury.

Dennis Smith Jr. overcame the injury and broke into college basketball and the ACC earning Freshman of the Year honors. While Smith was electrifying on the court, NC State was not, finishing up the year with a losing record of 15-17.

Questions are apparent for this expected lottery pick as everyone’s game is dissected, but the skill and athleticism are there in the tape for all to see.

Let’s take a look at what Smith can bring to an NBA franchise by looking at his strengths, weaknesses, what the experts say, and his potential fit with the Milwaukee Bucks.