Knicks Trade Rumors: Dennis Smith Jr. Drawing Interest from Timberwolves, Magic

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2020

New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Charlotte won 97-92. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. has already been traded once since he entered the league as the No. 9 overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft, and he may be moved again prior to Thursday's deadline.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves are both interested in a potential deal involving Smith.

Smith came to New York as part of the return package in the deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks last season. While he averaged a solid 14.7 points and 5.4 assists a night in 21 games for the Knicks in 2018-19, he has struggled from a production standpoint in 2019-20.

He is averaging 5.2 points, 2.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds a night in 25 games this season while shooting just 28.9 percent from three-point range.

Berman called this season a "morose" one for Smith, pointing to the fact he left the Knicks for two weeks following the death of his stepmother. Head coach Mike Miller also didn't play him in two consecutive games following David Fizdale's firing, and the North Carolina State product missed 13 games with an oblique injury.

"He just wants to play," a source close to Smith said.

The Magic or Timberwolves could give him that opportunity and hope a cliche change of scenery helps him tap into the talent that led to his status as a top-10 pick. Markelle Fultz has been revitalized this season in Orlando after struggling to find his place, and the Timberwolves are rebuilding and could give a young player like the 22-year-old Smith significant playing time.

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