Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James recently said that the New York Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr. this past June.
“The Knicks passed on a really good one, and Dallas got the diamond in the rough,” said James after the Cavaliers defeated Smith’s Dallas Mavericks on Saturday evening, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “He should be a Knick. That’s going to make some headlines, but he should be a Knick. Dallas is definitely, I know they’re excited that he didn’t go there.”
Of course, the Knicks ultimately selected fellow point guard Frank Ntilikina ahead of Smith. As a result, some Knicks players did not take too kindly to James’ assertion and New York big man Kristaps Porzingis was one of them.
“I don’t know why he would say that,” said Porzingis, according to Adam Zagoria of the New York Times. “I wouldn’t trade Frank for anybody.”
Fellow New York big man Enes Kanter also offered up his thoughts on the situation earlier in the week.
We love what we got…
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) November 12, 2017
James is not the only person who feels New York should have taken Smith, as many chastised the Knicks for going with the more raw prospect in Ntilikina over Smith when New York made its selection. So far this season, Ntilikina is averaging 4.4 points, five assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 34 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three-point range.
Ironically enough, the Knicks will now battle James and the Cavaliers on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time.