"The [New York] Knicks passed on a really good one," James said after the Cavaliers' 111-104 win at American Airlines Center, per the Dallas Morning News' Brad Townsend. "Dallas got the diamond in the rough. He should be a Knick. That's going to make some headlines, but he should be a Knick. ...
"He's an unbelievable talent. Athleticism. He's very poised to be his age. Can shoot the ball, can penetrate. He's only going to get better and better with the opportunities that he's given here to play. Dallas got a good one."
Brad Townsend @townbrad
“Dallas got a good one,” @KingJames says of @Dennis1SmithJr. https://t.co/QblBex4vl12017-11-12 04:51:41
James isn't kidding.
Although Smith is only 11 games into his career, he's looked the part of a franchise point guard—especially since the start of the month.
In five November appearances, Smith is averaging 19.0 points, 4.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 steals.
He helped bolster those totals with 21 points, seven dimes, five boards, two blocks and a pair of steals while shooting 8-of-16 from the field against the Cavaliers.
The Knicks, meanwhile, opted for French floor general Frank Ntilikina over Smith at No. 8 overall.
Through 10 games, Ntilikina is averaging 4.4 points, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 34.0 percent from the field. That said, Ntilikina currently leads his squad in net rating, with the Knicks outscoring opponents by 6.2 points per 100 possessions when he's been on the floor.
After the Knicks defeated the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night, Enes Kanter defended his teammate on Twitter:
Enes Kanter @Enes_Kanter
Nope!! We love what we got... Thanks!!! https://t.co/eI6nTpghmQ2017-11-12 05:32:54
Conversely, the Mavericks have been outscored by 12.1 points per 100 possessions with Smith on the floor thus far.
Stats courtesy of NBA.com.