Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. recorded 16 points, 10 assists and three rebounds during Wednesday's season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks. In doing so, he became the youngest player in NBA history to collect at least 10 assists during an NBA debut, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).
The 19-year-old broke the previous record held by Isiah Thomas, who recorded 11 assists at age 20 during his first contest with the Detroit Pistons.
Smith was selected with the No. 9 pick in this past summer's NBA draft, behind other point guards Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, De'Aaron Fox and Frank Ntilikina. That said, he's still a strong candidate to compete for Rookie of the Year, as he should see true starter's minutes for the Mavericks and has been touted as NBA-ready.
During his one season at North Carolina State, Smith posted 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals across 34.8 minutes per game. He's a score-first point guard with top-flight athleticism, dangerous in both the paint and on the perimeter, but has clearly demonstrated great vision as well.
He'll face off against fellow rookie De'Aaron Fox when the Mavericks and the Sacramento Kings meet Friday. The Kings lost their first game to the Houston Rockets, though Fox impressed, needing just 24 minutes to post 14 points and five assists.